November 4, 2010 / 6:53 PM / in 7 years

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

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.

<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>

“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

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