Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Potash (POT) in Play as Long Rumored Bid by BHP Billiton (BHP) Comes to Fruition - Stock Up 25% Premarket

While we do not have a huge position in Potash (POT) we were fortunate to have something, as the long rumored bid by BHP Billiton (BHP) is announced this morning.  I never got the impression Mr. Doyle would want to sell the company since it has such an unique franchise and the potash market is sort of dual global oligopolies, but whatever the case - the stock is up 25% in premarket as the paltry $130 price is laughed off.  Not sure what to do with the stock as now the rumors of "who else will bid?" start, but frankly this is not a cheap bride, and only so many companies in the world have the deep pockets and strategic fit to bring on a $40 billion bid.  Maybe 3-4 in the world?

The stock is at $140 right now (vs $112 close).  This should also put a bid into Mosaic (MOS)... I am sure many of the "me too" potash stocks will also run but this market is dominated by Cantopex, and all the middling names like an Intrepid Potash (IPI) are just for show (and speculators to have fun with).

Speaking of speculators, this should be a very good day for George Soros as he generally carries a quite large position in Potash.

Via Bloomberg:

  • Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest fertilizer producer, rejected an unsolicited $39 billion takeover proposal from BHP Billiton Ltd. as too low, prompting speculation of a higher bid.
  • Potash rose $37.85, or 25 percent, to $140 as of 6:51 a.m. in pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has a market value of $33.3 billion, based on yesterday’s closing price.
  • Potash Corp.’s board turned down the offer of $130 a share in cash, saying it “unanimously believes that the BHP Billiton proposal substantially undervalues Potash Corp. and fails to reflect both the value of our premier position in a strategically vital industry and our unparalleled future growth prospects,” Chairman Dallas Howe said today in a statement.
  • Potash Corp., based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, produces fertilizer, industrial and animal feed products.

[Jan 7, 2010: BHP Billiton Forges Ahead with Plans to Develop Their Own Potash Reserves]
[Apr 30, 2008: Finally (A Year Late) Fertilizer Hits the Front Page of the NYTimes
[Nov 16, 2007: Potash Expands Mine for $2 Billion]

Long Potash in fund; no personal position

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