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Economy / Business

Mosaic Buys Out CF Industries; To Become Sole Central Fl. Phosphate Producer

CF Industries

The Mosaic Co. has announced it's buying the Central Florida operations of CF Industries. The price - $1.2 billion.

Among the CF properties included in the deal is the South Pasture phosphate mine and beneficiation plant in Hardee County, which totals 22,000 acres; a Plant City phosphate mine and beneficiation plant; and facilities at the Port of Tampa, including an ammonia terminal and warehouse facilities.

Mosaic officials say CF's  facilities produce about 1.8  million  tons  of  phosphate  fertilizer per year. That's in addition to the 8.2 million tons currently produced every year by Mosaic. Mosaic will also commit $200 million to cover the closure and long-term care of phosphogypsum stacks under CF's Florida operations.

The deal leaves Plymouth, Minn.-based Mosaic as the only producer of phosphate in Central Florida. PotashCorp still has a mine in north Florida.

Bo Davis is Mosaic's Senior Vice President of Phosphate Operations. He says the acquisition will save Mosaic a lot of money in capital costs. Davis says he doesn't anticipate any layoffs of CF Industries' 700 employees.

"This increases our phosphate by about 20 percent, so it is significant for us," says Davis. "It allows us to continue to grow this business, so it's a great opportunity."

He says the purchase of CF Industries' Hardee County property means that Mosaic will not have to build their planned mine in Hardee County.

The deal signals Illinois-based CF's increased focus on its core nitrogen fertilizer products and comes after Mosaic has said it was looking to increase its production of phosphate, one of three critical crop nutrients.

CF will supply Mosaic with 1 million tons a year of ammonia, a nitrogen product used in making finished phosphate products. This will allow Mosaic to scrap its plans to build a $1.1 billion ammonia manufacturing plant in Louisiana.

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