OTTAWA - Ottawa has rejected a nearly US$40-billion takeover bid by BHP Billiton to buy Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. Industry Minister Tony Clement made the decision after reviewing the deal to see if it would be of ''net benefit'' to Canada under the Investment Canada Act. His ruling says in effect that the takeover would not benefit Canada.
BHP has the right to make additional representations to Industry Canada within 30 days.
PotashCorp maintains its position that the US$130 per share offer undervalues the company. The board insists the offer is "not in the best interests of the company, its shareholders or other stakeholders."
[Editor's note: I would be surprised if BHP Billiton backed quietly away from its offer . Prepare for more news on this topic.]