Corrected: Sinofert says BHP bid for Potash to have big impact

Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:43am EDT
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(Corrects translation of quote in first and fifth paragraphs to “closely watching” from “very concerned about”)

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's largest fertilizer distributor Sinofert Holdings Ltd is "closely watching" BHP Billiton Plc's $38.6 billion takeover offer for Potash Corp, and believes the potential deal will have a big impact on the company, a top executive said on Thursday.

Speculation lingers that Sinofert's parent Sinochem may join a rival bid to counter BHP Billiton's $38.6 billion takeover offer for Potash Corp.

Sinofert Chief Executive Feng Zhibin did not immediately comment on speculation that Sinochem may be involved in a bid for Potash Corp.

BHP Billiton's hostile bid for Potash Corp, the world's top potash producer, has triggered fears that if BHP succeeds it will ditch the prevailing annual contract potash pricing system in favor of a market-based approach.

"No matter what, Sinochem and Sinofert are closely watching Potash," Feng told reporters at a results briefing on Thursday.

"Potash is a major shareholder in Sinofert, and it will have a big impact."

(Reporting by Alison Leung; Editing by Chris Lewis)