Wallaces Farmer

Sioux City Fertilizer Producer Terra Industries Is Sold to Foreign Firm

Terra is sold to Yara, but headquarters for the combined companies North American operations will be kept in northwest Iowa.

February 25, 2010

2 Min Read

Terra Industries of Sioux City, a major manufacturer and marketer of nitrogen fertilizer, has agreed to be acquired by Yara International of Oslo, Norway in a deal valued at $4.1 billion. The Norwegian company says it is the world's largest supplier of mineral fertilizers and ammonia. The announcement of the agreement for the buyout was made February 15.

Sioux City will become the headquarters of Yara's North American operations. Yara North America will oversee all North American operations for the combined company, including Yara's manufacturing and sales facilities in the U.S. and Canada, according to a joint news release. Michael Bennett, Terra's president and CEO, will serve as president of Yara North America.

Terra, like all fertilizer manufacturers, has been suffering

"Our board is unanimous in its belief that this transaction is good for our shareholders, customers and employees," says Henry Slack, chairman of the board of Terra. Terra last year resisted an unsolicited takeover from Illinois-based CF Industries. Like all fertilizer makers, Terra has been hit this past year by fluctuating prices for natural gas used to make fertilizer, and by the weather which has resulted in less fertilizer use.

Terra, founded in 1964, employs 968 people in Sioux City and at several plants around the United States. Its main plant in Iowa is at Port Neal, near Sioux City. The firm also has plants in Louisiana, Missouri and Okalahoma.

Wall Street analysts say Norway's Yara agreed to buy Terra for $4.1 billion to create the world's biggest mineral fertilizer producer and boost Yara's presence, as the two rivals join forces to gain size and market reach. 

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