Canada province formally rejects BHP’s Potash bid

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 21, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

The Canadian province that is home to Potash Corp. said on Thursday it was opposed to a $39 billion bid by BHP Billiton to buy the world’s largest fertilizer supplier.

Saskatchewan will urge the federal government to block the Anglo-Australian miner’s hostile bid for Potash Corp, which is based in the province.

“In the interests of jobs for Sasketchewan families, in the interest of the quality of life that we prize that is funded by revenues to the government, in the interest of the place of our province and our country in the world we must say no to this hostile takeover,” Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in a speech in the provincial capital of Regina.

Under the Investment Canada Act, the federal government can only allow a takeover bid by a foreign company to proceed if it deems that a deal would bring a “net benefit” to Canada.

“It’s our government’s belief that the people of Saskatchewan deserve nothing less than a potash industry unequivocally managed, operated and marketed for the benefit of Canada and Saskatchewan,” Wall said.

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