Potash files amended complaint in suit vs BHP

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 27, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.

Potash Corp. on Tuesday filed an amended complaint in its lawsuit against unsolicited suitor BHP Billiton, offering fresh details from the court’s ongoing discovery process in the case.

The world’s top fertilizer maker, which launched the suit against BHP in a bid to block the Anglo-Australian miner’s $39 billion hostile takeover bid, did not provide all of the new details in the public version of its court filing.

Potash Corp has flatly rejected BHP’s $130-a-share offer as inadequate and sued BHP in a U.S. District Court in Chicago. The court on Nov. 4 will rule on whether to grant Potash Corp’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the bid.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp said on Tuesday its amended complaint has been filed under seal because it contains confidential information disclosed by BHP during the discovery process.

As part of this process, both sides have requested the other party submit a list of documents that they believe are necessary to bolster their arguments in the case.

Potash Corp said its amended complaint provides additional factual detail from the BHP documents it had requested. It said those documents support allegations it laid out in its original complaint filed Sept. 22.

That complaint alleged that BHP issued statements regarding the development of its huge Jansen potash project in the hope of driving down Potash Corp’s share price, in preparation for its takeover offer.

BHP has asked the court to dismiss the suit.

The Canadian government could still block a takeover of Potash if it deems that a deal would not be of ‘net benefit’ to the country. The ruling is expected on Nov. 3.

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