Terra Firmer

Shares in US-based Terra industries have jumped as love rivals Yara and CF Industries vie for Terra's hand in marriage. Shares which were worth just USD31.36 as recently as the beginning of February closed at USD46.90 in New York last night.

Norwegian Yara agreed to stump up USD4.1 billion for Terra, but just as the blushing bride was about to say "I do" in stepped rival CF Industries with a USD4.68 billion "lawful impediment".

Christ, how I wish somebody had done that when I foolishly married Mrs N#1. I should have suspected something was up when she insisted on walking down the aisle to the theme tune from Ski Sunday. It was indeed all downhill from there.

Any road up, Yara appear to have flounced and told Terra that there is no more cash on the table, according to media reports. That leaves Yara free to pick up a bonus USD123 million "break-up fee" for the privilege of Terra throwing Yara's ring back at them.

Count yourself lucky Yara, that's a somewhat better result than a Dyson, a set of drawers and portable telly that won't pick up channel 4 methinks.