PotashCorp says can address K+S concerns about tie-up

Frankfurt | Reuters — Canada’s PotashCorp said it was confident of addressing concerns raised by K+S over its 7.9 billion euro (C$11 billion) takeover proposal for the German potash miner, giving K+S’s stock a boost.

K+S rejected PotashCorp’s proposed bid as too low on Thursday, saying its suitor could be planning to dismantle and shrink the company and its pledges to the contrary were too vague.

Potash Corp on Friday said its 41 euros-per-share proposal balanced the interests of investors and other stakeholders, including employees.

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Baader Bank analyst Markus Mayer said he expected PotashCorp to come back quickly with an improved offer.

“In our view, the probability of a deal has now increased from 50/50 to 70/30 and consequently we reiterate our Buy recommendation for the stock,” he said.

The Saskatoon-based fertilizer group said it was “encouraged by K+S’ response since many of the matters raised have already been addressed in previous correspondence or can be addressed if K+S were to agree to meet with company representatives.

“We are seeking to meet with K+S management at the earliest possible opportunity so that we can jointly discuss our commitments and further specify the details that would form the basis of a successful combination.”

PotashCorp said its proposal was not based on closing mines, curtailing production, selling K+S’ salt business or cutting jobs.

Reporting for Reuters by Harro ten Wolde and Ludwig Burger.

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