Canada's Potash Corp rejects BHP Billiton's $38.6 -bn cash takeover bid

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PotashCorp), the world's largest fertiliser producer, today rejected a $38.6-billion in cash takeover offer from BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company.

BHP Billiton today confirmed that it had made an approach to PotashCorp regarding a possible acquisition of PotashCorp and offered $130 per common share, a premium of 16 per cent to the company's share price on 16 August, but the board of PotashCorp has not agreed to engage in discussions.

''BHP Billiton continues to review its options and will make a further announcement in due course,'' said the Anglo Australian miner in a statement.

Dallas Howe, chairman of Potash, said that BHP Billiton's offer failed to ''reflect both the value of our premier position in a strategically vital industry and our unparalleled future growth prospects."

''We believe it is critical for our shareholders to be aware of this aggressive attempt to acquire their company for significantly less than its intrinsic value,'' he added.

Saskatchewan-based PotashCorp said BHP Billiton is trying to exploit the current downturn in the market for potash.