Publish date:

Potash Reportedly Seeks Counteroffers

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan is seeking alliances with companies that could put together an offer that would compete with BHP Billiton's $39 billion hostile bid, a report says.

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Canada (

TheStreet

) --

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan

TST Recommends

(POT)

is seeking alliances with petrochemical companies, agri-business multinationals and Chinese sovereign banks that could put together an offer that would compete with

BHP Billiton's

(BHP) - Get Report

$39 billion hostile bid for the world's No. 1 fertilizer maker, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

Sovereign wealth funds, Chinese banks or other national financial institutions could provide the funding for a global group that makes a counteroffer to BHP's bid, the

Journal

reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

BHP went hostile with its bid for Potash

on Wednesday, taking its offer of $130 a share

directly to Potash shareholders

. Potash has rebuffed the BHP bid, calling it "grossly inadequate."

>>After Potash: 4 Fertilizer Takeover Targets

Potash CEO Bill Doyle hasn't ruled out a deal, the

Journal

notes, as he said Tuesday that the company wasn't

"opposed to a sale, we're opposed to a steal of the company."

People familiar with the matter described Potash's board and management as shareholder-friendly, and said Potash may decide to run a full auction to secure the best value for its shareholders, the

Journal

says.

The newspaper notes how analysts have speculated that Brazil's

Vale

(VALE) - Get Report

and BHP rival

Rio Tinto

(RTP) - Get Report

could be logical buyers for Potash, but question whether either company can arrange the financing to buy the fertilizer comapny.

Potash, however, could be of interest to makers of chemicals, petrochemicals and fertilizers, the people familiar with the matter told the

Journal

. Chinese agricultural and chemical suppliers'

Sinochem

and

China National Chemical

have been aggressive in pursuing cross-border deals, the newspaper says.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site,

Stockpickr.com.