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Resource Battle Turns To Potash

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The cross-border battle for global resources is focused on potash, with BHP Billiton's $43 billion hostile bid for Saskatoon-based Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the world's largest producer of the fertilizer. With fertilizer prices low and grain prices rising. BHP Billiton, an Anglo-Australian mining company that produces mainly minerals, wants to accelerate its diversification into the fertilizer business. Potash Corp rejected BHP Billiton's bid, calling it grossly inadequate and not in shareholders' interest. The market apparently viewed it as insufficient, however, and boosted Potash Corp's shares to well above BHP Billiton's $130-a-share bid. Morgan Stanley said the offer was about 18% below what it conservatively estimated as the target's replacement cost.

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