Cargill Inc., the majority investor in Mosaic Co., is giving up its stake in the prominent fertilizer company. Cargill, a private company, will distribute its $24.3 billion stake to its own investors so Cargill can remain closely held.
Mosaic was created when Cargill combined its fertilizer business with IMC Global in 2004.
Cargill said the distribution of the 64 percent stake will allow it to meet the needs of charitable trusts formed after the death of shareholder Margaret A. Cargill, help the company maintain its credit rating and align earnings with the businesses it operates.
"This transaction gives us a freer hand to determine our own destiny," Mosaic CEO Jim Prokopanko told investors and analysts. News reports also say the exit of Cargill makes Mosaic more vulnerable to a takeover.
Mosaic, based in Plymouth, Minn., operates major mining operations in Central Florida for phosphate, a key fertilizer component.