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K+S Successfull With Takeover Offer For Potash One

Published Wednesday, 19th January 2011 03:43 pm - © 2011 Dow Jones


(Rewrites, adds background.)

By Hilde Messer

Of Dow Jones NEWSWIRES

FRANKFURT -(Dow Jones)- Fertilizer and salt supplier K+S AG (SDF.XE) Wednesday said it had acquired an 81% stake in Potash One Inc. (KCL.T)--more than the two-thirds it had aimed for--giving it access to additional potash exploration licenses.

K+S, the world's fourth-largest producer of potash, a key nutrient in fertilizer, also said it had extended its offer period for the takeover of the Canadian company to Feb. 4.

The Kassel, Germany-based company offered C$4.50 for each outstanding common shares of Potash One and said a total 78,802,378 shares were tendered.

"All of the conditions to the offer have been satisfied or waived," the company said in a statement.

The original expiration date was Jan. 18, but -- to give Potash One shareholders who haven't yet tendered their shares more time -- K+S extended the offer period by just over two weeks.

The total value of the offer is around CAD434 million, or EUR311 million.

The board of Potash One recommended the offer, saying it's in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

Potash One has several potash exploration licenses in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and has an advanced greenfield potash mine project in that area, which would require $2.5 billion in investments to be realized. K+S said it expects production capacity of up to 2.7 million tons, with the production to start 2015 earliest.

K+S had announced its takeover plans in the second half of November, just a week after the Canadian government blocked a deal in which BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) made a US$38.6 billion hostile offer to acquire Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT), the world's largest potash producer.

The company became the world's largest salt producer when it agreed to buy U.S.-based Morton Salt for $1.68 billion in April 2009.

-By Hilde Messer, Dow Jones Newswires; +49 69 29725 506; hilde.messer@dowjones.com

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