CALGARY, Alberta -- Agrium Inc. announced today that it has concluded the purchase from Spectrum Brands Inc. of its Nu-Gro fertilizer technology and professional products businesses.



Agrium will fund the purchase price of $86-million (U.S.$) from cash on hand. Details of the acquisition were announced previously on Nov. 23, 2005.



This acquisition is expected to boost Agrium's sales and earnings in the growing specialty fertilizer segment and provide sufficient critical mass to form a new strategic business unit.



"With the addition of Nu-Gro, we enhance our position as a leader in controlled release fertilizers and add another stable earnings stream to our portfolio of businesses and products," said Mike Wilson, Agrium president and CEO. "We are excited about the potential to expand our delivery of specialty products to our customers from the combination of Nu-Gro and Agrium's existing controlled release product offerings. Our goal is to further enhance our environmental leadership through growing our market and product offering in the controlled release fertilizer segment.



"We are looking forward to adding Nu-Gro's employees, products, and brands to Agrium, all of which are highly regarded within the industry," Wilson said.



Nu-Gro produces and distributes controlled-release and professional turf products, with total annual sales of approximately $80 million and average gross margins of about 24 percent. The controlled release nitrogen products include branded products, Nitroform(R), Nutralene(R), SCU(R) and IB Nitrogen that are marketed to finished product producers for use on golf courses, sport turf, home lawns, high yield agricultural crops, nurseries and in greenhouses. The professional turf products, Proturf (R) Professional Turf Products, Nu-Gro and Par Ex (R), are marketed directly for use in golf course and lawn care applications.



Agrium Inc. is a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products and a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in both North and South America. Agrium produces and markets three primary groups of nutrients: nitrogen, phosphate and potash as well as controlled release fertilizers and micronutrients. Agrium's strategy is to grow through incremental expansion of its existing operations and acquisitions as well as the development, commercialization and marketing of new products and international opportunities.



SOURCE: Agrium Inc. via Business Wire.