Although potash has been the main focus of recent global consolidation, control of nitrogen production has been what North American-based companies have sought. In early 2009, CF Industries made its first of many offers to buy Terra Industries. Weeks later, Calgary-based Agrium made a play for CF. After months of offers and rejections, Agrium gave up, and finally in early 2010 CF succeeded.

After its acquisition of Terra last April, CF Industries became the largest nitrogen producer in North America and the second largest globally. According to Tony Will, CF’s vice president of manufacturing and distribution, the merger was an ideal fit, combining CF’s extensive distribution system and ample storage facilities with Terra’s production capacity. “In the second quarter of 2010 alone, CF was able to double our nitrogen production, thanks to the Terra acquisition,” Will says. “And we now have the largest distribution system in North America.”