PotashCorp mulls Chinese consortium bid to rival BHP

CANADA’S PotashCorp has approached a number of parties in China over putting together a consortium to counter miner BHP Billiton’s $39bn (£25bn) hostile takeover bid.

PotashCorp, which has made no secret of its attempts to woo white knight bidders since it rejected BHP’s approach last month, is understood to have considered combining a large capital element from a Chinese resource firm or investment fund with smaller contributions from international sovereign wealth funds and possibly Canadian investors.

Rival potash firm Mosaic could also be part of the consortium, according to a Canadian newspaper report.

However, any bid from China would first have to secure regulatory clearance from Canadian authorities, who have expressed concern at handing over such an important state asset.

Sources close to PotashCorp said that the company is in ongoing discussions with the state over the provenance of potential bids, which would each have to be assessed on their individual merits.

The deadline for BHP’s offer is 19 October.