Harper: Potash an ‘American-controlled company’

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 20, 2010 at 3:26 p.m.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper weighed in on miner BHP Billiton’s $39 billion bid to take over Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp. on Wednesday, calling it a proposal by an Australian-based company to take over an American-controlled company.

The Conservative government has until Nov. 3 to decide whether to approve the bid for Potash, the world’s biggest fertilizer producer. Ottawa is required to determine whether the bid would be a net benefit for Canada.

“This is a proposal for an American-controlled company to be taken over by an Australian-controlled company, and we will of course, review the matter,” Harper told the House of Commons.

Although Potash has its headquarters in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, some of its key staff are based in Chicago.

The Saskatchewan government says it fears it will lose about C$3 billion ($2.9 billion) in revenues over the next 10 years if the deal goes through.

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