Potash Corp sues to stop BHP takeover bid

22nd September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Canada's Potash Corp filed a suit Wednesday to try to stop a hostile takeover by Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP, saying its bid was built on "false and misleading statements and omissions."

Potash Corp filed a complaint in US District Court in Illinois alleging BHP violated US securities laws and therefore should be prohibited from proceeding with its 40-billion-dollar tender offer for majority control of Potash.

The tender offer expires on November 18.

Potash Corp accused BHP in court documents of "making false statements, half-truths, and contradictions... designed to confuse and coerce Potash Corp shareholders into tendering their shares to BHP."

The Canadian company also accused the world's biggest miner of attempting to drive down Potash Corp's share price to boost its chances of acquiring it "on the cheap."

Potash, the world's largest fertilizer maker, last month rejected BHP's hostile bid as "wholly inadequate" and said it was exploring other options.

China -- a major importer of potash, which is used to make fertilizer -- has been uneasy about the BHP bid as it already buys large quantities of the company's iron ore, and is reportedly considering a rival offer.

© 2010 AFP

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