Blocking of BHP bid was "a rare case": PM Harper

Thu Nov 4, 2010 2:48pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government's decision to block a hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton for Potash Corp was "a rare case", Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.

"While there have been many other foreign investments made in Canada, this was a rare case where even a large number -- if not most people in favor of foreign investment -- opposed this decision (by BHP to make the bid)," Harper told the House of Commons.

Harper also said his government would not hesitate to block a future foreign takeover bid if it was not of net benefit to Canada -- the reason Ottawa used to rule out BHP's approach.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa November 3, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>