Potash rejects $39bn BHP Billiton bid

THE world’s largest fertiliser producer Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has rejected a $39bn (£24.9bn) takeover approach from mining giant BHP Billiton.

Canada-based PotashCorp said BHP offered US$130 a share in cash – equivalent to a 20 per cent premium on the company’s share price on 11 August.

However, Canadian Potash dismissed the proposal as "grossly inadequate".

PotashCorp chairman Dallas Howe said in a statement: "The BHP Billiton proposal substantially undervalues PotashCorp and fails to reflect both the value of our premier position in a strategically vital industry and our unparalleled future growth prospects.

“The fertiliser industry is emerging from the recent global economic downturn, and we feel strongly that PotashCorp shareholders should benefit from the current and potential value of the company. We believe the BHP Billiton proposal is an opportunistic effort to transfer that value to its own shareholders.”

BHP said in sa statement that it "continues to review its options and will make a further announcement in due course."