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The world largest fertilizer supplier, Canada's Potash Corporation, is seeking talks with possible counter-bidders. Potash is fighting off a 39 billion U.S. dollar hostile takeover offer from BHP Billiton. Speculation is spreading, with rumours China's Sinochem Group made inquiries with the Potash board late last week.
Potash says it expects an alternative offer to emerge after BHP formally launched its 130 U.S. dollar per share hostile bid last week. The Canadian company says it's liaising with a number of interested third parties.
Potash didn't say which companies it had been approached by, but media reports mention China's Sinochem Group, Brazil's Vale and Chinese private equity fund Hongpu Investment Management as possible suitors.
CCTV spoke with Li Qiang, spokesman for the Sinochem Group later on Monday.
Li Qiang, Spokesman of Sinochem Group said "We've noted those media reports. But I can't verify nor make any comments on this issue, giving the importance of the event. Sinochem has built very close relationships with those companies, therefore, we will keep a very close eye on and evaluate the result of the case."
The Wall Street Journal cited a person familiar with the situation, saying a consortium led by Hopu was studying the feasibility of a bid. It says other members are from Canada, U.S. and Asia, but that Sinochem is not a member of the consortium.
Over 20 percent of the world's potassic fertilizer is produced by Potash Corporation. With populations soaring, food supply has been become a critical global issue. Potassic fertilizer is one of the key players in expanding agricultural output.