Vale, Yara deny talks over fertilizer unit stake

Yara’s fertilizer terminal at Stockton, California. (Sebastian Braum photo,

Brasilia | Reuters — Vale SA denied a report on Wednesday that it was negotiating a sale of fertilizer assets to Norway’s Yara International as the Brazilian miner seeks to raise cash following its biggest quarterly loss in decades.

Valor Economico, a Brazilian business newspaper, reported Vale could sell a minority stake in its fertilizer unit by the end of the year and suggested the Norwegian firm would be a good match for the assets.

Citing unnamed sources, Valor said the deal could yield Vale US$1.2 billion.

Yara, in an email to Reuters, also denied any negotiations were under way.

Vale is seeking to sell US$10 billion in assets over the next 18 months after taking a massive loss in the fourth quarter of 2015, but analysts have told Reuters a fire sale could destroy equity value.

Meanwhile, Yara has said it plans to increase investment in a bid to become more competitive and grow its business.

Reporting for Reuters by Silvio Cascione.

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