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BHP seeks regulatory approval in bid to complete sales negotiations

BHP hoping to complete its $39m hostile takeover of Potash Corp

01 November 2010

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, is set to seek regulatory approval from Canadian officials in order to complete sales negotiations with Potash Corp of Saskatchewan.

The Australian-based firm must wait until November 3rd to complete its $39 million (£24.3 million) hostile takeover as the federal government decides whether it will bring a net benefit to the country.

BHP claim the deal would provide enough benefits for Canada, as it would significantly invest in the area and relocate its main office to Saskatoon.

The deal has sparked opposition from some quarters, including the Premier of Canadian province of Saskatchewan, who claimed the sale of the fertiliser company to a foreign bidder would be a major blow to the country.

"We continue to expect Canada to turn down BHP's bid, but we don’t expect the stock to take a dive on that news," analysts at Credit Agricole Securities wrote in a research note.

"With potash on allocation, restocking of inventories beginning, and prices rising in every region, strength of the recovery is evident, and negotiating power with China is probably at a new peak." 

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