Retailers Weigh in on Mammoth Fertilizer Merger
The landmark merger of Agrium and PotashCorp was announced last November, and speculation about its impact on agriculture has been in full gear since. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017 — and it will create the largest crop nutrient company in the world, called Nutrien. CropLife® found a few retailers who would comment off the record on the deal.
“We are still a little in the dark here,” said one. “We have not been given much information on the merger, other than to hear ‘nothing will really change.’ Well, we know something is going to change, and I would expect it to be pretty significant. Past relationships may not be enough to keep us in a competitive situation.
“Today, in certain geographies, we are a significant customer of PCS and have a strong relationship. We feel like we get the treatment that we should be getting,” he said. This retailer’s concern: How will that relationship look going forward, when Nutrien has access to so many retailers? “I don’t have an issue about being able to get product, and be supplied at the right times, but I do have concern about being competitive,” he noted.
A Midwest dealer agreed and worries that down the road it will likely become very difficult to compete with the new large firm in retail.
“I think a lot of these things will be better answered when all of the leadership positions are announced,” said one CropLife 100 dealer. “For the industry overall, I think the fear is that the new company may be too big to offer the level of service that many have been used to. I believe this will also help some of the other fertilizer companies, in that, retail partners may look to align with them to cover their needs, rather than wait for Nutrien.”