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The Associated Press September 22, 2011, 10:42AM ET

Cargill Trust to sell Mosaic shares as planned

Fertilizer giant Mosaic Co. said Thursday that one of its shareholders, the Margaret A. Cargill Trust, plans to sell more of its shares, the latest step in unwinding ties between Mosaic and Cargill Inc.

The trust plans to sell 18 million of its 42 million shares, Mosaic said Thursday. It could sell another 2.7 million if the sale goes well.

Mosaic has about 440 million common shares.

Cargill Inc., a privately held agribusiness company, had owned a 64 percent stake in Mosaic but agreed in May to sell off its shares. Mosaic said at the time that the change would give it flexibility to grow as an independent company. It also has allowed Cargill and the trusts it funds to cash out their investment. The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation supports or plans to support Midwest disaster relief, Native American arts and culture, and other causes, according to its website.

Standard & Poor's said this week that it will add Mosaic to the S&P 500 index after the market closes Friday. One requirement for entering the S&P index is that at least half of a company's shares must be available to the public.

In morning trading, shares of Mosaic fell $2.95, or 4.6 percent, to $60.64. Shares have traded between $55.70 and $89.24 over the past year.

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