Don't fear potash takeover, Saskatchewan premier tells Germany

Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:06pm EDT
 
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By Rod Nickel

(Reuters) - The man who was instrumental in blocking a foreign takeover five years ago of Canada's Potash Corp, the world's No. 2 producer of the crop nutrient potash, says Germany need not fear Potash's move to buy German potash miner K+S AG.

In 2010, Brad Wall, premier of the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, campaigned against Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton's bid for Saskatchewan-headquartered Potash Corp, saying BHP would market potash differently if it succeeded, resulting in lower prices and less revenue for the province.

Saskatchewan is one the world's biggest sources of potash.

Wall said the situation isn't the same if Potash Corp buys K+S, the world's No. 5 potash miner.

"The difference is we were talking about a company that controlled almost a third of the world’s potash resource that was in play," Wall said in a telephone interview from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on Friday. "K+S certainly is not that company."

While new mines are under construction in Saskatchewan, potash reserves are being depleted in some of K+S's German mines, he said.

K+S this month rebuffed Potash's proposed 7.9 billion euro ($8.7 billion) takeover bid as too low. It also suggested that Potash would cut German jobs and close mines.

In the interview, Wall also said that upcoming changes to potash-mining taxes in Saskatchewan will be revenue-neutral and that capital-spending incentives will be maintained.   Continued...

 
Chris McKay, PotashCorp load-out supervisor at the Cory Mine, examines potash inside one of the storage facilities near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan October 10, 2013.   REUTERS/David Stobbe