UPDATE 1-Potash Corp shares briefly jump after takeover rumor

Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:40pm EDT
 
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(Adds analyst comment, background on earlier offer)

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 30 (Reuters) - Shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan jumped as much as 6.5 percent on Thursday after a financial news website reported a rumor that the Canadian fertilizer company had received an unsolicited takeover offer.

The Fly website said chatter among traders suggested Potash had hired an investment bank after receiving an unsolicited proposal.

Potash Corp spokesman Randy Burton said the company does not comment on market rumors.

The stock pared gains, and by midday was up about 2 percent in Toronto and New York trading, to C$21.33 and $16.41, respectively.

An analyst, who did not want to be named, said he was skeptical there had been an offer, noting that Thursday marked the end of the quarter and that such speculation commonly happens every few months.

The Canadian government blocked a hostile $39 billion bid for Potash from Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton Plc in 2010. The proposed takeover was unpopular in Potash Corp's home province of Saskatchewan, which depends on royalties from potash producers.

As of Wednesday's close, the stock was down 6 percent in 2016, and has been pressured by weak prices for the crop nutrient.

(Editing by David Gregorio and Jeffrey Benkoe)