Shares of Potash Corp. were down Thursday after Canada blocked BHP Billiton's bid to buy the company, and it appears unlikely that the government, focused on protecting national assets, will change its mind.
In a surprise decision by a government that has historically favored foreign investment, Canada has rejected a foreign takeover bid for Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp. Australian mining company BHP Billiton had offered $38.6 billion in what would have been the world's largest corporate acquisition this year.
The FTC has cleared a BHP Billiton bid for Potash Corp., but that hardly matters. Authorities in the fertilizer company's home country of Canada may not approve the transaction. And it looks like BHP won't be the only bidder. The giant Chinese conglomerate Sinochem is working on an offer.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. said Monday that its board voted unanimously to reject BHP Billiton's hostile $38.5 billion takeover offer as it doesn't reflect the strong growth the company believes it is poised to enjoy.
Fears of an economic slowdown have sent stocks reeling and bonds soaring. With companies sitting on record piles of cash and easy credit available, this may lay the foundation for a potential mergers and acquisitions boom -- and help revive equities.
BHP Billiton isn't going down without a fight. A day after fertilizer giant Potash rejected its takeover offer, the giant mining company has taken its $40 billion bid directly to Potash shareholders.
As Australia continues to show strong signs of an economic recovery driven largely by Chinese demand for natural resources, its central bank raised interest rates for the fourth time since October. The Reserve Bank of Australia's key cash rate now stands at 4%.