Potash producers plunge in overseas trading after Russian potash producer Uralkali (URALL.PK) says it is leaving its JV with Belaruskali, accusing Belaruskali of violating the terms of their agreement. Uralkali will now export deliveries via its own Swiss-based Uralkali Trading. (statement)
On a conference call, CEO Vladislav Baumgertner said the move could trigger a drop in global potash prices to below $300/tonne in H2, from a current $400/tonne.
Uralkali and Belaruskali's JV, Belarus Potash Company (BPC), accounts for 43% of the global potash export market.
Uralkali -14.2% on the MCX. Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK, ISCHF.PK) -10.7% in Tel Aviv. K S AG -16% in Paris.
North American fertilizer stocks in play: POT, AGU, MOS
Israel Chemicals' new CEO Stefan Borgas warns Israel's phosphate reserves are drying up and calls on the government to grant the company licenses to mine at a new site in the Negev desert that would secure reserves for 30 years. ICL is a takeover target of Potash Corp. (POT), an action Israel's new finance minister Yair Lapid says he would "vigorously" oppose.
Potash (POT -1.5%) seeks to soothe Israeli fears over a possible acquisition of Israel Chemicals, Globes says, as opponents use deal talk for political purposes in upcoming local elections. POT believes Israel Chemicals has no choice but to merge if it wants to stay relevant in the global fertilizer market in coming years.
Potash (POT) says strong consumption trends in 2012 were masked by global distributor inventory destocking, and sees 2013 world potash shipments of 55M-57M tons vs. an estimated 51M tons in 2012. POT says significant tonnage has been contracted for H1 delivery but foresees lower potash prices. Also, POT suspends talks to buy Israel Chemicals due to "political events."
Officials from Israel's Government Companies Authority plan to meet with Potash Corp (POT) execs next week to discuss the Canadian company's bid to acquire Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK). Officials want more details about Potash's plans and how it would secure the country's interests before deciding on whether to approve the bid.
Israel's government would consider Potash Corp's (POT) attempt to acquire Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK) once the Canadian company makes a formal request, the finance ministry said late yesterday. The comments came just a couple of days after the ministry said it's not considering the deal due to "professional reservation."
Israel's Ministry of Finance yesterday said it's not considering Potash Corp's (POT) attempt to acquire Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK), which is worth around $16B, due to "professional reservation." The ministry's comments came days after it was reported that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed staff to examine the issue. Israel's due to hold an election in January, so don't expect a decision before then.
Potash's (POT) proposed purchase of Israel Chemicals would give it control of ~25% of global potash production capacity, a "transformative transaction that would vault them past the Russians into the No. 1 spot globally" - which could prompt antitrust concerns. PM Netanyahu also risks being criticized during upcoming elections for selling Israel’s natural resources and jeopardizing the Dead Sea’s ecology.
More on Potash Corp (POT) / Israel Chemicals (ICL) talks: Potash has wanted to increase its stake in Israel Chemicals, which has a market cap of $15B, for a while but has met government and regulatory opposition. Any deal would include ICL's shareholders receiving stock in Potash, the Calcalist newspaper reports.
Potash Corp (POT) has been in talks with the Israeli government, including holding a meeting with PM Benjamin Netanyahu, about acquiring Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK). Potash Corp already holds a 13.84% stake in Israel Chemicals, while Israel Corp. holds 52.3%. (previous)
Israel's finmin OKs Potash's (POT) request to raise its stake in rival Israel Chemicals (ISCHY.PK) to 25% from 13.9%, a move that would cost about 5.2B shekels ($1.37B). The antitrust authority is now reviewing the transaction.
Canada's Potash Corp. (POT) has asked for approval from the Israeli government to raise its stake in rival Israel Chemicals (ICL) (ISCHY.PK) to 25% from 13.9%, reports say. Buying the extra 11.1% could cost Potash around 5.23B shekels ($1.38B). Market players reckon the move could be a prelude to taking full control of ICL.