- The fact is that Agrium called out the cavalry last week to pressure the proxy advisory firms and found only 3% of the shares willing to speak up for them, including a shareholder who had already voiced support for them seven months ago. That is less than half of the shares we own, much less anything close to a decisive percentage.
- Their claims about the opinions of the Canadian corporate governance community are equally unfounded, as they cite the same three governance commentators from weeks ago, two of whom are still consultants for corporate boards and one of whom is still wrong on the facts. We have spoken to several Canadian governance experts in recent days to better understand Agrium's claims, and it is highly clear that the company is seeking to use recommended guidelines which have no applicability to this situation as a battering ram to try to win a proxy contest. Good governance demands better.
- Two of the other three proxy advisory services they attempt to throw into the mix have negligible, if any, influence in this situation. Agrium also lists a number of arguments they claim ISS failed to consider, when, in fact, ISS considered those arguments and simply disagreed with Agrium's conclusions. We also note that despite Agrium's attack on ISS today, just a few years ago Agrium praised ISS when the independent advisory firm issued a favorable recommendation for Agrium in its hostile pursuit of CF Industries.
JANA Comments On Agrium's ISS Complaints: "More Of The Same"
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