BHP Billiton said it was submitting it directly to shareholders and bypassing Potash Corp's board, which a day earlier called the bid of $130 a share "grossly inadequate."
The Anglo-Australian miner, sitting on an estimated $11bn cash pile, is looking to capitalise on a resurgence of the global fertiliser industry following a collapse in demand during the global economic slowdown.
BHP wants to become the largest fertiliser supplier to a world where survival means more farm production and China's voracious appetite for commodities is expected to grow. "We firmly believe that Potash Corp shareholders will find the certainty of a cash offer, at a premium of 32 per cent to the 30-trading day period average, very attractive and we have therefore decided to make this Offer directly to those shareholders," BHP Billiton Chairman Jac Nasser said in a statement.
BHP said it expected a deal to add to earnings in the second full fiscal year after completion and had arranged financing. It put total funds required for the deal at $43bn, including options and pension obligations.