SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (TheStreet) -- Potash (POT) CEO Bill Doyle, in a series of videos posted on the company's web site Tuesday, reiterated his contention that BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get BHP Group Ltd. Report "will not be the only bidder" for the world's largest fertilizer producer.
Potash has been angling for a white knight ever since it spurned BHP's unsolicited $130-a-share offer, which it has described as "grossly inadequate" and "wholly inadequate" and sometimes just "inadequate."
Bill Doyle, president and chief executive officer of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.
In the videos Tuesday,
similar to those given during a conference call with analysts and investors just hours after his company disclosed BHP's theretofore secret offer, on Aug. 17. (On Aug. 12, BHP CEO Marius Kloppers and his
traveled to Chicago to make the bid face-to-face with Doyle, who runs Potash out of an office in the city's northern suburbs.)
Said Doyle in one of the videos, "A number of third parties have already expressed interest in alternative transactions -- some who we approached and others who initiated contact on their own."
Doyle also noted that
arbitrage speculation in Potash stock
had been muted and that the company's biggest institutional holders stood behind the rejection of BHP's initial offer.
"We've met and had discussions with many of them," Doyle said. "They know about our performance and our potential -- and they remain extremely stable and supportive. Our large investors have clearly communicated to us that the
$130-per-share bid is a non-starter."
Perhaps to discover what price might start negotiations in earnest, Kloppers and his aides flew to New York last week, with a North American travel itinerary that included stops in Canada as well. The suggestion has been that Kloppers would use the trip not only to discuss with its own biggest shareholders the company's recently released second-half earnings, but to gauge what might constitute a "magic number." The institutional shareholder bases of Potash and BHP have some overlap, including the big U.K. investment fund BlackRock.
Doyle, who again trumpeted Potash's high-quality
deposits, added that some of the company's holders "have been adding to their positions" since BHP's pursuit first came to light.
Meanwhile Tuesday, speculation of a white knight
emerging from China
continued to heat up, with
Dow Jones Newswires
reporting that chemical conglomerate
has been in talks with the Singapore sovereign wealth fund
about pooling funds to make a run at Potash.
Potash shares were trading Tuesday afternoon at $149.66, up 0.8% from the previous close on lighter-than-average volume.
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
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