(Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO) does not plan to sweeten its bid for German rival K+S AG (SDFGn.DE), several people familiar with the Canadian mineral miner said, downplaying a media report that it would consider such a move.
The proposed bid of 41 euros per share already represented an unusually high premium and should not be taken as a starting point for further increases, the sources said. There was no valid reason to speculate on Potash increasing its offer, they said.
Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail on Wednesday reported that Potash Corp was confident of winning over shareholders with its current $8.7 billion bid, but that it would also be open to raising it slightly under certain conditions.
“If we sit down and do due diligence and they can demonstrate some incremental value to us, we might have an extra euro for them. I wouldn’t rule that out,” the daily quoted a source close to the matter as saying.
K+S last week rejected Potash Corp’s bid, saying it was too low and that the Canadian suitor could be planning to dismantle the company, putting jobs at risk.
Potash Corp said on July 3 it was confident of addressing concerns raised by K+S and that it would seek to meet with K+S’s management as soon as possible.
If K+S gave Potash Corp access to its books and the Canadian company found more value, it could raise the bid, the newspaper reported. (bit.ly/1KMMYiL)
A K+S spokesman said that if Potash Corp were to send them a new proposal they would be obligated to check it. The company has previously ruled out opening its books to the suitor under the proposed terms.
Potash Corp’s Germany-based spokesman declined to comment.
K&S shares were down 0.85 percent at 1531 GMT (11:31 a.m. EDT) to 36.55 euros.
Reporting by Patricia Weiss and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt, Greg Roumeliotis in New York and Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru and; Editing by Thomas Atkins and William Hardy