EDMONTON - Reports have been circulating that Alberta's provincial money manager (Aimco) is in discussions with certain Canadian pension funds in an attempt to keep Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan out of the hands of Australian miner BHP Billiton. BHP has offered US$130/share or a total of US$38.6 billion for all the outstanding shares of PotashCorp.
Aimco's plan is to raise enough money to purchase a "blocking stake," a 30% equity stake, in PotashCorp. That could derail BHP's hostile bid.
Observers are giving the plan is only a low chance of success. First, it would still cost US$13 billion or more. Second, BHP's offer expires on Nov. 18, leaving less than a month for a rival bid to be presented.
PotashCorp (www.PotashCorp.com) shares were trading just below US$145 a share on the NYSE at lunchtime on Oct. 19, 2010.