Potash:BHP was unethical

Marion Dakers
POTASH said yesterday its suitor BHP Billiton has been “inappropriate and highly unethical” by cold-calling many of its customers while embroiled in a hostile takeover deal.

BHP, the Anglo-Australian mining giant, earlier this month launched a $38.6bn (£24.1bn) hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp, the world’s largest fertiliser company.

Potash said in a letter to its customers it recently learned that Chris Ryder, the head of potash marketing for BHP, had called many of them.

“Since the purpose of BHP Billiton’s call clearly was not to solicit your potash order from BHP Billiton’s Jansen project...we consider this contact to be inappropriate,” said Stephen Dowdle, Potash Corp’s head of sales, in the letter dated 30 August.

“We can only assume that BHP Billiton’s purpose is to sow seeds of doubt and confusion about the future of Potash,” he added.