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Workers use a forklift to load bags of fertilizer onto a truck at the plant of Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. in the city of Jiangyan, Jiangsu province, in a file photo.

Kevin Lee/The Globe and Mail

The chief executive of Canadian fertilizer company Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. plans to take it private, agreeing to buy the nearly 80 per cent of shares he does not already own.

Hanfeng said in a statement on Monday that Agrium Inc., a much larger Canadian fertilizer company and holder of about 20 per cent of Hanfeng's stock, has agreed to vote its shares in favour of the deal. Hanfeng, based in Toronto, makes slow- and controlled-release fertilizer for China and Indonesia.

Hanfeng chief executive officer Xinduo Yu and a corporation owned by Mr. Yu have agreed to pay $2.25 per share for the 79.6 per cent of Hanfeng's stock that he doesn't already own.

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The price is a premium of 47 per cent over the volume-weighted price of the shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange over the 30 trading days prior to Mr. Yu's initial offer on Jan. 8. Mr. Yu's first offer was for $2.20 per share.

Hanfeng's shares gained 2.8 per cent in early trading in Toronto at $2.22.

Mr. Yu's interest in taking over the company may be welcome news for some investors in Hanfeng, as its share price has not reflected a recent string of solid quarterly results, said analyst John Chu of AltaCorp Capital, in a note to clients last month.

Hanfeng will hold a meeting of shareholders on March 15 to vote on the deal.

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