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Rival bids threaten BHP takeover of Potash

The much-anticipated hostile takeover of Potash Corp by BHP Billiton has been threatened by rival bids by Chinese chemical company Sinochem and a Canadian pension fund.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Canada's Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is talking to Singapore investment fund Temasek about launching an offer for Potash Corp, possibly with Canadian miner Teck Resources.

It is said that Sinochem will not launch a bid until reassurance is received from the Canadian government that the bid would be allowed. Previous bids by Chinese chemicals companies ran into trouble in Canada because of anti-Chinese backlashes.

BHP had offered to purchase all outstanding Potash Corp common shares at a price of US$130 in cash per share. Potash flatly rejected the miner’s offer, calling it “grossly inadequate”.