September 5, 2016 / 1:02 PM / in 2 years

Israeli fertiliser maker ICL won't bid for stake in Chile's SQM

TEL AVIV, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Fertiliser maker Israel Chemicals (ICL) will not be bidding for an indirect stake that is for sale in Chilean potash and lithium producer SQM, a spokesman for the Israeli company said.

ICL Chief Executive Officer Stefan Borgas said in May that ICL was interested in investing in SQM, which is 30 percent held by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, but noted SQM was too big for ICL to buy outright.

A share-based merger of ICL and SQM, or ICL buying a stake in SQM, could be attractive, but would need to involve Potash Corp, which is also a shareholder in ICL, Borgas said in May.

SQM’s controller Julio Ponce in December began the process of selling the bulk of his shares in the company. His holding firm Oro Blanco is looking to sell its majority stake in Pampa Calichera, which in turn owns around 23 percent of SQM. Bids are due on Monday.

“We will not be in involved in this process,” ICL’s spokesman said.

ICL, a subsidiary of Israel Corp, is Israel’s sixth-largest producer of potash. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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