K+S asks German government to help fend off takeover-Handelsblatt

Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:14am EDT
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FRANKFURT, July 29 (Reuters) - German potash and salt miner K+S has turned to German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel for help against an unwanted takeover approach by Canadian rival Potash Corp, and has discussed the option of German state bank KfW taking a stake in K+S, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

K+S earlier this month rebuffed Potash Corp's 7.9 billion euros ($8.65 billion) proposed bid of 41 euros per share as too low and suggested the suitor was planning to shrink the company. A K+S spokesman said last week the German company had rejected a new attempt by Potash to entice it into takeover talks.

KfW could take a blocking minority stake but Germany's economy ministry and finance ministry are doubtful that they could come up with a "common-good" justification for such an intervention, Handelsblatt cited people familiar with the matter as saying.

The paper said that K+S declined to comment while the economy ministry only said that there had been several talks with the company. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)