Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Sinochem Approaches Temasek on Potash Bid" and "Potash’s CEO Says BHP Unlikely to Be the Only Bidder" (POT)

In early pre-market trade the stock is up another $1.42 at $150.91.
A twofer. First up Reuters via the New York Times:

China's state-owned Sinochem Corp has invited Temasek, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, to join a consortium that may bid for Canada's Potash Corp, the world's largest fertilizer supplier, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

The move follows an order by Chinese officials for state companies to meet investment bankers to explore ways to block BHP Billiton's $39 billion hostile bid for Potash Corp.
Further raising pressure on BHP to sweeten its bid, Potash Corp said on Tuesday it had contacts with several other parties that had shown interest in possible transactions. It has called the Anglo-Australian miner's $130-a-share offer "grossly inadequate."

"A number of third parties have already expressed interest in alternative transactions, some whom we approached and others, who initiated contact on their own," Potash Corp Chief Executive Bill Doyle said in a video clip posted on the company's website. (

China, which typically buys about 7 percent of the output of Potash Corp, fears a BHP takeover might jeopardize supplies it will require to feed its huge population in coming years....MORE
And from Bloomberg/BusinessWeek:
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Doyle said BHP Billiton Ltd. is unlikely to be the only bidder for the world’s biggest fertilizer producer as others are interested.

“A number of third parties have already expressed interest in alternative transactions, some who we approached and others who initiated contact on their own,” he said in a video clip on the website of the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company.

Doyle last month rejected BHP’s $130-a-share bid as inadequate, as he forecast a 10 percent gain in consumption of the crop nutrient and pointed to price gains of as much as 40 percent in corn, soybeans and wheat since June. China’s Sinochem Group approached Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte. to join a group that may bid for Potash Corp., Reuters reported yesterday, citing unidentified people.

“If there’s another bid, it may mean BHP thinks they have to up their bid and that won’t please its investors at all,” said Michael Heffernan, a client adviser with Austock Securities Ltd. in Melbourne.

Potash Corp. rose 0.7 percent to close at $149.49 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday. The shares advanced to a high this year of $153.29 on Aug. 23, about a week after Potash Corp. made public BHP’s proposal.

Shares of Melbourne-based BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, declined 1.4 percent to 1,862 pence by 10:04 a.m. in London. They dropped 1.4 percent to close at A$37.91 in Sydney trading.
BHP Shareholders

Li Qiang, head of the president’s office at state-owned Sinochem, didn’t answer calls in Beijing. Jeffrey Fang, a spokesman at Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, declined to comment....MORE