(Adds company statement on dividend, share activity)
By Rod Nickel
Dec 2 (Reuters) - A recent report that Potash Corp of Saskatchewan is preparing a new takeover bid for German potash producer K+S AG is an unfounded rumor, Chief Executive Officer Jochen Tilk said on Wednesday.
Potash, one of the world’s biggest producers of the crop nutrient, withdrew its $8.9 billion bid for K+S in October.
“We did withdraw and what we said in our press release two months ago is the same position we have today,” Tilk said at a Citi investor conference in New York.
A recent German report that Potash is preparing a new bid for K+S “was a rumor, nothing more,” Tilk said.
Potash Corp expects to generate more cash as it wraps up a longtime expansion program next year.
Tilk said the company is considering whether to reduce its dividend and instead return cash to shareholders by buying stock.
“Some people have asked, and I think it’s a valid question, ‘why wouldn’t you reduce your dividend and buy back stock?'” Tilk said. “Of course we’re looking at that.”
As of now, the company has decided to maintain its dividend, but it is looking at whether there are better ways to return cash to shareholders, Tilk said.
After Tilk’s remarks, Potash spokesman Randy Burton clarified that the company ”is not actively considering any reduction in the dividend.
“We view (the dividend) as a top priority and sustainable,” he said in an email.
Potash Corp stock fell about 1 percent in New York and Toronto in morning trading. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)