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Potash Corp. revealed last week that it has held talks with 15 different parties interested in making rival offers. But it is now almost certain that none of those parties will proceed with a costly and time consuming bid.
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"Politically, it wouldn't fly,' said Grant Devine, the former Saskatchewan premier who originally privatized Potash Corp. "You would have had a tea party reaction if they'd have let it go."
However, no one gave much credence to the idea that BHP could eventually get Investment Canada approval, given that it already made huge concessions to Saskatchewan and Canada and failed to get the federal government onside.
BHP, meanwhile, is back at square one after spending four years studying a Potash Corp. acquisition, and likely spending many millions on Adidas Originals Light Grey
"Shareholders of Potash Corp. are the main losers Adidas Originals Orange
Some have speculated that if this bid failed, BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers' job could be in jeopardy. But at the company's last annual meeting, chairman Jac Nasser stressed that is not the case.
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On Wednesday night, Potash Corp. had little to say about Clement's announcement, but reiterated that its board of directors believes the offer price is too low.
in this decision, at least in the short term," said Chris Damas, an independent analyst.
Milos Barutciski, international trade specialist with Bennett Jones LLP, questioned whether BHP has any options left.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. is left in the uncomfortable situation of trying to maximize shareholder value while realizing that its ability to pursue any sort of corporate transaction is now severely constrained.
"Practically speaking they have a very theoretical, and I would underline very and put it in capital letters, option of trying to get a judicial review of the minister's decision, but practically speaking and legally speaking it is a final decision, there is no appeal," he said.
Clement's decision is not final for another 30 days, so there is still an opportunity for BHP to demonstrate that its bid provides a "net benefit" to Canada.
BHP said in a statement it was "disappointed" with the decision, and will review its options and continue to work with the federal government.
Shares of Potash Corp. a share. a share, reflecting the fact that fertilizer industry fundamentals have improved sharply since BHP launched its hostile offer in August.
TORONTO The federal government's second ever rejection of a foreign takeover will have wide reaching implications.
"Selling Potash Corp. to a multinational and taking control out of Canada would be just like trying to sell the Saskatchewan Roughriders."
its bid. It is the third major setback the company has faced in the last couple of years, following the abandonment of its bid for Rio Tinto Ltd. and the collapse of Adidas Los Angeles Originals a proposed joint venture with Rio.
The clear winner is Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, whose fierce opposition to the bid generated strong support across the country, particularly in his native Saskatchewan. He essentially left Ottawa with little choice but to reject it.
By Industry Minister Tony Clement rejecting BHP, the federal government fired a clear warning shot that Potash Corp. is not for sale to any foreign buyer.
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The decision also likely renders other Canadian companies that could be viewed as strategic, such as Research In Motion Ltd. or Suncor Energy Inc., as essentially takeover proof.
BHP rejection sends warning on foreign takeovers
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