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Rona Inc., the hardware retailer, and fertilizer purveyor Agrium Inc. are faced by frustrated shareholders aiming to revamp their boards. What do the experiences at the battles that are already won teach investors wondering who to support at Rona and Agrium?
Rona Inc., the hardware retailer, and fertilizer purveyor Agrium Inc. are faced by frustrated shareholders aiming to revamp their boards. What do the experiences at the battles that are already won teach investors wondering who to support at Rona and Agrium?
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

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Activist investors emerge, but value still hidden

Activist shareholders have shown in the past two years that they are willing to take on almost any large Canadian company’s board, but there’s still much to prove when it comes to turning around a major company’s results.

In one way or another, fully 10 per cent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX 60 index of this country’s biggest companies have faced a challenge of some sort from an activist investor in the past two years. That list now includes Calgary’s Agrium Inc., which is in a proxy battle with a large investor that wants to break up the company.