Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which controls a $96.34bn portfolio, is plotting a bid to spoil BHP Billiton’s (BHP) (BLT.L: Quote) $40 billion hostile takeover offer for Potash Corp (POT), the worlds top fertilizer maker. London-based BHP launched a 40 billion US dollars (£25 billion) bid for Canada’s PotashCorp in August this year.
Discussions are at an early stage, but the paper says the two funds are considering an outright takeover or buying a minority stake at an higher price than BHP’s $US130 a share bid to torpedo the Australian-based company’s deal. Potash Corp has rejected BHP’s $130-a-share bid. Sinochem , the state-owned Chinese chemical group, is also viewed as likely to lead a competing group.
Potash shares have been trading well above the $US130 a share bid price — they closed at $US145.80 on Friday, as a result of BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers’ ambition to seize the producer of a fifth of the world’s potassium fertiliser.
BHP Billiton seeks an instant 20 per cent share of the global potash market through a takeover of Potash Corp rather than wait for Jansen — Saskatchewan’s first new potash mine in 40 years — to hit full production capacity in 2021.
BHP, which employs 41,000 people and has operations in 25 countries, made its 130 US dollars-a-share (£81.40) offer direct to shareholders after directors of PotashCorp dismissed an initial approach as being “wholly inadequate”.
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