Canada Blocks BHP Bid

Farm Minister Gerry Ritz, in comments his office later said were just speculation, argued that letting BHP Billiton buy the fertilizer giant would have offered Australia’s farm sector too much of an advantage.

“Having someone different mine (potash) certainly does make a difference in that Australia is a major marketer of a lot of the same foodstuffs that Canada is. We’re a volume producer — so are they,” Ritz told Parliament.

“And for them to be able to go to the Indias and Chinas of the world and say ‘We now control your fertilizer too’ I think would have had a very detrimental effect. And I know the ministry of industry took all of that under advisement and it helped … formulate the decision.”

PotashCorp is the world’s biggest producer of its namesake chemical, an essential crop nutrient. Analysts said the company was now set to go it alone as a stand-alone company, just as it was before BHP launched its hostile bid in August.

“I’m happy it’s a stand-alone company. That’s what I want,” said Barry Schwartz of Baskin Financial, which owns about 35,000 PotashCorp shares. “At the end of the day, we will be able to control the price of potash and supply to China. Shareholders will be the real winners here.

Potash Corp stock fell just 2.4 percent on Thursday, the first trading day after the Canadian announcement. It closed at $141.97 a share, still above BHP’s offer price of $130-a-share, and analysts say fundamentals for the company are strong.

Desjardins Securities raised its PotashCorp to buy from hold, and set a price target of C$175.

Potash had dismissed the BHP offer as too low, and said it would find a white knight. It has sued BHP to stymie a takeover, a case that played out in a packed Chicago courtroom on Thursday.

BHP Still Bidding

BHP told the judge that its tender offer is still going forward. “We are now going to continue to work to see if we can persuade the Canadian government to approve this transaction,” a lawyer for the Anglo-Australian miner told the court.

But BHP also asked Saskatchewan’s securities watchdog to adjourn indefinitely a November 8-9 hearing on PotashCorp’s shareholder rights plan.

The hearing was to examine BHP’s application to strike down PotashCorp’s rights plan, a key defense in the fertilizer company’s attempts to fend-off its unsolicited suitor.

The decision whether to approve the offer had been a thorny one for Canada’s minority Conservative government, which needed to balance a desire to prove Canada’s investment friendly credentials with political realities, including massive opposition to a takeover from its Western Canadian heartland.

Fund managers and analysts said the fallout will affect just a few major companies, and Canada remains mostly “open for business”.

“It will discourage foreign companies taking a run at … large strategic assets, of which I think there’s only a handful,” said Gary Baker, leader of the research team covering Canadian equities at Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management in Vancouver.

“It would make it hard for someone to take over Suncor … but I think the government’s been fairly open,” he added, referring to Canada’s biggest energy company. “There’s been a lot of transactions, including the Chinese, coming into Canada buying smaller metals, oil and gas companies.”

(Source: Reuters)

Leave a Reply

Fertilizer Stories

Crop Inputs2013 West Texas Tragedy Ruled A ‘Criminal Act’ [Updated]
May 11, 2016
A 2013 fertilizer plant blast in West, TX, that killed 15 people and injured 160 others was caused by a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionEnhancing In-Season Nitrogen Use Efficiency Is In The Details
May 5, 2016
Spring is here and crops are in the ground. Do you have a plan for your nitrogen during the growing Read More
Truck dumping dry fertilizer
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics Q&A: Southern States’ Joe Wlodkoski
May 2, 2016
Joe Wlodkoski, Director of Agronomy Procurement, Fertilizer, Southern States Cooperative, is a 40-plus year fertilizer industry veteran. He is quite Read More
West Central Dome structure
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics 2016: All Clear, So Far
May 1, 2016
After a relatively hairy early start to the spring fertilizer movement season with flooding in Louisiana and St. Louis, things Read More
Trending Articles
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncontrolled Weeds
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
HerbicidesHerbicide Resistance In Waterhemp Continues To Grow
April 22, 2016
Twenty-five years ago, waterhemp was virtually unknown to Illinois farmers. Today, the broadleaf weed blankets corn and soybean fields across Read More
Latest News
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More
dicamba, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend
Crop InputsASA: No Dicamba On Roundup Ready 2 Xtend In 2016
May 16, 2016
While Roundup Ready 2 Xtend (RR2X) are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides, no dicamba herbicides will be approved for Read More
CPP, glyphosate, dicamba, atrazine,
Crop InputsReport: Congress Pressing EPA On Glyphosate Review Hand…
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter P.J. Huffstutter: U.S. lawmakers have asked EPA to explain why it published – and then withdrew – Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
ManagementAsmark Institute Tour Observations
May 12, 2016
Special Guest CropLife Field Editor Matthew Grassi discusses his week-long visit with 45 ag retailers as part of the Asmark Read More
MicronutrientsCompass Minerals Expands Trial Work For Wolf Trax Innov…
May 12, 2016
Fertilizer manufacturer Compass Minerals continues to expand the evaluation program for its Wolf Trax micronutrient fertilizer products, according to a Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsArysta Adds To Marketing Team
May 12, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of David Davies to its marketing team. As marketing manager, Davies will Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsSyngenta Launches New Biological Seed Treatment
May 12, 2016
Syngenta has announced the launch of the EPIVIO brand family, a range of new biostimulants which address abiotic stresses through seed Read More
Crop Inputs2013 West Texas Tragedy Ruled A ‘Criminal ActR…
May 11, 2016
A 2013 fertilizer plant blast in West, TX, that killed 15 people and injured 160 others was caused by a Read More
Crop InputsLariat Partners Invests In Willowood USA
May 11, 2016
Lariat Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, has made a significant investment in Willowood USA, a leading manufacturer of generic Read More
Anhydrous Ammonia tanks
LegislationARA: OSHA Announces PSM Formal Rulemaking Intentions
May 11, 2016
In separate communications earlier this week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced plans to conduct formal rulemaking to Read More