RiskMetrics backs CF nominees to Terra board

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 5:15 PM

CF Industries Holdings Inc. said Friday that the RiskMetrics proxy advisory firm supports its nominees for the board of Terra Industries, which is fighting a CF takeover attempt.

Terra's stock jumped.

A day earlier, fertilizer maker Terra said two independent proxy companies _ Proxy Governance Inc. and Egan-Jones Proxy Services _ told shareholders they should elect three of the company's own board picks.

Terra is fighting off a buyout attempt by CF Industries, which is based in Deerfield, Ill. The election is scheduled for Terra's annual meeting on Nov. 20.

Terra rejected CF Industries' latest unsolicited takeover offer on Nov. 4. CF had offered $4.1 billion, but Terra said it was inadequate. CF has made five offers for Terra since mid-January.

The fertilizer industry has seemed ready for consolidation as prices fell because demand suffered during the downturn.

RiskMetrics Group's ISS Governance Services said Friday that the acquisition would make CF Industries into a "powerhouse" and that Terra's board has had enough time and leverage to get the best deal it could get.

Terra shares rose 7 cents to $37.81 in after-hours trading after climbing $2.54, or 7 percent, to close regular Friday trading at $37.74.

Shares of CF Industries fell 17 cents to $80.19 after hours, after closing at $80.36, down 57 cents from a day earlier.