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) --

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan


said its board has approved the buyback of up to $2 billion worth of its common stock.

The move comes after

BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get BHP Group Limited American Depositary Shares (Each representing two) Report withdrew its $40 billion offer to acquire Potash on Monday

because of opposition from the Canadian government, which maintained the deal wouldn't benefit the company.

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Potash said it plans to make the repurchases, which it estimated will represent roughly 4.9% of its public float, over a one-year period starting on Friday. The company added, however, that it expects to complete the buyback program by the end of the year, subject to market conditions.

Potash shares closed Tuesday at $134.63, down 2%. Year-to-date, the stock is up almost 27%. The BHP Billiton offer valued Potash shares at $130 each.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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