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Industry Canada blocks US$36.8 billion hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton Group of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.

November 2010
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On August 20, 2010, BHP launched a hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp. The BHP Billiton Group is the world’s largest diversified natural resources company. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. is the world’s largest integrated fertilizer and related industrial and feed products company. No competing bids emerged during the target’s attempt to create an auction process.

On October 21, 2010, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall rejected BHP’s bid and urged the Federal Government to do the same, following submissions to the Minister of Industry Canada and publicly stating that the transaction did not provide a net benefit to the Province nor Canada, as required under the Investment Canada Act. The Minister agreed on November 3, 2010 and November 14, 2010, BHP withdrew its bid.

The Government’s rejection marked only the second time in history Industry Canada has rejected a foreign takeover in Canada.

Gowlings represented the Premier and Province of Saskatchewan with a team led by Nick Dietrich and including, Brent Arnold, Michael Bussmann, James Camp, Bruce Graham, Vince Imerti, David Kim, Faye Kravetz, Martin Mason, John McClure, Robert Milnes, Paul Seaman, John Sorensen, Barry Stork, Deborah Templer, Michael Watson and Tina Woodside.

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