K+S says will look at higher Potash bid, profit jumps
By Andreas Cremer
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's K+S AG (SDFGn.DE: Quote) said it would consider any improved offer from Canada's Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) after its position was boosted by stronger than expected quarterly earnings.
The company affirmed its rejection of a 7.9 billion euro ($8.8 billion) takeover proposal by Potash, but left the door open on Thursday to an improved bid.
"K+S will deliver strong results as a stand-alone company," finance chief Burkhard Lohr said during an earnings call. "K+S has a great future as an independent company."
The Canadian firm's takeover proposal of 41 euros per share does not even remotely reflect K+S's underlying value, the CFO said, questioning again reassurances the Canadian firm has given on jobs and sites.
K+S's management and supervisory boards "are extremely concerned that Potash appears to have no sustained interest in continuing the strategically, technically and financially linked fertilizer and salt activities in the current form," it said.
But CFO Lohr made clear that K+S does not oppose a takeover in principle and would study an improved offer by Potash Corp.
"Don't get me wrong: We are not at all blocking a potential transaction," he said.
K+S shares traded up 0.8 percent at 36.27 euros as of 07:25 a.m. EDT, underperforming Germany's bluechip DAX index which was up 2 percent. They remain well below the proposed takeover price. Continued...