UPDATE 2-Mosaic builds $2 bln cash pile for share buyback

Mon May 13, 2013 1:20pm EDT
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* Expects to have $2 bln cash, $3 bln debt capacity as of May 31

* Company looks to buy shares restricted since Cargill split

* To defer Canadian potash expansion until markets improve

* Shares fall nearly 3 percent

By Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. fertilizer producer Mosaic Co plans to have accumulated a $2 billion cash pile by the end of May to buy back shares locked up since its split from agribusiness giant Cargill Inc.

Mosaic, the No. 2 fertilizer producer in North America, also deferred plans to expand potash mining in Western Canada until the global market for the soil nutrient shows signs of recovery.

Mosaic said it planned to use surplus cash to buy back shares rather than pay dividends. In addition to the $2 billion in cash, the company has $3 billion of debt capacity, it said in a regulatory filing on Monday. ()

From May 26, the two-year anniversary of its split from Cargill, Mosaic plans to begin talks on buying back shares from members of Cargill's founding family and the charitable trust that together hold about 30 percent of Mosaic's stock.   Continued...