New push back to mining giant's hostile bid

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- The board of directors of Canadian fertilizer manufacturer PotashCorp. told its shareholders Monday to reject a $38.6 billion hostile takeover bid from Australian mining company BHP Billiton, saying it's in talks with other parties about "superior offers."

Potash's board said in a circular to shareholders that BHP's (BHP) unsolicited offer of $130 per share is too cheap and was timed to take advantage of a worldwide slump in demand for fertilizer stemming from the recession.

The board said it unanimously opposed the offer because it "substantially undervalues PotashCorp. (POT) and fails to reflect both the value of our premier position in a strategically vital industry and our unparalleled future growth prospects."

In the circular, the board said "superior offers or other alternatives are expected to emerge."

The company said it has been in talks with third parties about possible alternatives to the BHP offer, but it did not name any of the parties involved.  To top of page

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