Institutional Shareholder Services recommended shareholders vote in favor of two nominees on a dissident slate put forth by hedge fund manager JANA Partners to the board of directors of Agrium Inc., according to a report by ISS, a proxy-voting advisory firm.
Glass Lewis, another proxy-voting advisory firm, recommends shareholders support all 12 of Agrium's nominees for director, according to an Agrium SEC filing.
ISS recommends shareholders support Barry Rosenstein, JANA managing partner, and David Bullock, an independent adviser and investor. JANA nominated a dissident slate of five directors.
“While the board has begun implementing a number of the dissidents' proposals to drive shareholder value … its simultaneous, emphatic rejection of the dissidents' calls for these same initiatives, and its attempts to paper over other issues, raise significant concerns about its commitment,” the ISS report said.
Glass Lewis said in favor of the Agrium nominees, “In sum, we find Agrium management has ultimately argued a more compelling case in favor of maintaining Agrium's existing strategy, and board, than JANA has argued against it. … Nowhere is this exchange more readily displayed than with respect to the fundamental question of shareholder value,” according to the SEC filing.
Votes are due April 5, according to the SEC filings. The company's annual meeting is April 9.