Market News & Headlines >> Potash and Agrium Discuss Merger

Canada's Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Tuesday they were engaged in talks over a merger that would create a fertilizer and farm retailing giant with an estimated market value of $25-$28 billion.

The companies said in separate statements that they were in "preliminary discussions” about a possible merger of equals, adding that no agreement has been reached. Potash Corp is the world's biggest crop nutrient company by capacity and Agrium is North America's largest farm retailer. 

The news sent shares of stock in the two companies surging. U.S.-listed shares of Potash Corp were trading 11.1% higher at $17.28 as of 12:20 p.m. CT Tuesday, while U.S.-listed shares of Agrium were up 6.1% at $94.94. 

The merger talks come with fertilizer producers struggling due to depressed prices for crop nutrients amid a glut of supply and weak demand due to the downturn in commodity prices and weaker currencies in markets such as Brazil.