Tel Aviv-listed Israel Chemicals has fully acquired the British potash manufacturer Cleveland Potash for $45 million.

The deal was carried out through ICL subsidiary Fertilizers & Chemicals, and positions the Israeli group among the world's five biggest potash producers, with a capacity of about five tons annually.

ICL also has subsidiaries in the United States, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and China.

Cleveland Potash, Britain's only potash producer with a payroll of 850 people, puts out about a million tons of potash a year and over half a ton of salt. Its annual sales come to £90 million.

ICL said the deal is contingent on approval of the British and European regulatory authorities.

Company oresident and CEO Akiva Mozes said the acquisition is part of the group's strategy to develop its core business, in which fertilizers forms a major sector.

ICL posted $16.2 million profit for the third quarter, 46% down from the parallel quarter of 2000. It also reported a 7% decrease in revenue to $449.8 million. The company is controlled by the Israel Corporation.