Mon, Oct. 5, 7:43 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) +4% premarket after saying it withdrew its offer for rival potash producer K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY), citing challenging market conditions and a lack of engagement by K+S management.
- POT had offered €41/share ($45.98) for the German company, valuing K+S at €7.9B ($8.8B), but K+S refused to negotiate, saying POT’s offer undervalued the company and that a takeover could cost jobs.
- An acquisition of K+S would have given POT an opportunity to realize savings from selling potash within North America from its own western Canada mines and from K+S's Legacy mine.
Wed, Sep. 23, 8:44 AM
- Several German investors in K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) reportedly are increasingly losing patience with management's rejection of a takeover approach from Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT), as the drop in commodity prices makes a deal more appealing.
- Shareholder frustration could put pressure on K+S to reconsider talks with POT, which have not occurred on a management level, but executive boards of German firms consider aspects such as job security more than shareholder value relative to U.S. companies.
- While many analysts initially saw a fair value for K+S above €45/share in a takeover scenario vs. the actual €41 offer price, some investors now question whether such a price is feasible given the slump in commodity prices.
Wed, Sep. 16, 6:48 PM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) CEO Jochen Tilk talked up the the benefits of the company’s proposed takeover of German rival K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) today while also saying it is not "actively engaged” in a bid, Bloomberg reports.
- Tilk reportedly pitched investors on the deal, saying the proposed acquisition would give POT greater leverage over potash prices with a larger market share.
- Acquiring K+S would allow POT to expand geographically, particularly into the "attractive" European market, the CEO says, and would help maximize returns at the K+S Legacy potash mine in Saskatchewan, which is scheduled to begin production next year.
- Analysts at Germany’s Bankhaus Lampe suspect POT may soon make a hostile bid.
Tue, Sep. 8, 3:31 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +0.3%) clings to gains following unconfirmed reports that the company may be preparing to attempt a hostile takeover of German salt and fertilizer company K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY).
- The timing of the rumor follows a couple of bearish analyst notes over the weekend given ongoing concerns of further declines in potash prices; CIBC notes that Brazil spot prices have declined with reported granular MOP sales ranging $305-$315/metric ton CFR, while U.S. granular MOP barge prices have dropped to $295-$300 FOB NOLA.
- Scotia Bank's Ben Isaacson says the window for a 2015 recovery by Brazil is over, with YTD imports tracking 15% below last year's level; on POT, Isaacson says the stock continues to "reflect near-marginal cost pricing," and he hopes the company will not pay up to acquire K+S, as the transaction "may have better implications for the potash market than Potash Corp. shareholders, depending on price and terms."
Thu, Aug. 13, 9:59 AM
- Potash Corp. (POT -1%) opens lower after K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) affirms its rejection of the €7.9B ($8.8B) takeover proposal by the Canadian company while leaving the door open to an improved bid.
- POT's proposal of €41/share does not even remotely reflect K+S's underlying value, CFO Burkhard Lohr says, also questioning reassurances POT has given on jobs and sites.
- Still, the CFO makes it clear that K+S does not oppose a takeover in principle and would study an improved offer, saying "Don't get me wrong. We are not at all blocking a potential transaction."
- The K+S position seems strengthened by stronger than expected quarterly earnings, as Q2 operating profit rose 14% Y/Y to €179.2M, beating a €168M consensus forecast, citing higher prices for thawing salt in North America, cost cuts and the stronger dollar.
Wed, Aug. 12, 12:58 PM
- The majority of K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) retail shareholders appears to oppose Potash Corp.'s (POT -0.8%) takeover offer, but Scotiabank analyst Ben Isaacson thinks institutional investors may have a different opinion.
- Isaacson does not see why any institutional K+S shareholder would not jump at the opportunity to cash in at €41/share, and believes they would favor a takeover "based on feedback from K+S institutional holders."
- Given concessions and guarantees POT has made, Isaacson thinks any rejection of the proposal would be based on an emotional attachment to the company, “certainly not due to K+S being undervalued."
Mon, Aug. 10, 8:39 AM
- K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) says a majority of its private shareholders support management's rejection of the takeover proposal by Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT).
- K+S says it conducted a survey last month among its private shareholders, who together hold ~30% of the company; 28% of those shareholders responded with 84% supporting the rejection, 4% saying they would sell their shares at POT's proposed €41/share ($44.95) price, and 28% approving a significantly higher offer.
- The news would appear to further diminish POT's chances of taking over its rival, after K+S said Friday it had rebuffed another unsolicited takeover approach from the company.
Fri, Aug. 7, 8:43 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) is sticking to its earlier bid of €7.85B ($8.6B) for K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY), the Germany salt and fertilizer says after receiving an unsolicited letter from its Canadian rival that seeks to take over the company.
- K+S had previously rejected the €41/share takeover approach, saying the proposal undervalued its products and projects and could compromise jobs and strategy; POT management, on the other hand, thinks K+S’s suggestion that it’s worth €50/share is unwarranted.
Wed, Jul. 29, 8:25 AM
- Germany's K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) has asked economy minister Sigmar Gabriel for help in resisting an unwanted takeover approach by Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT), and has discussed the option of German state bank KfW taking a stake in K+S, the Handelsblatt newspaper reports.
- KfW could take a blocking minority stake but Germany's economy ministry and finance ministry are doubtful they could come up with a "common good" justification for such an intervention, according to the report.
- K+S earlier this month rebuffed POT's proposed bid of €41/share as too low.
Tue, Jul. 21, 1:11 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT +0.2%) has made a fresh attempt to win over the management of takeover target K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) and the German regional state of Hesse, where it is headquartered, but failed to entice K+S into merger talks, Reuters report.
- POT CEO Jochen Tilk is said to have met with the state premier of Hesse, handing over documents about the company's plans to preserve jobs after a takeover that also were made available to K+S.
- K+S says the latest proposal contained nothing new and still sees no basis for talks.
Wed, Jul. 8, 12:31 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT -1.4%) does not plan to sweeten its bid for German rival K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY), sources tell Reuters, in contrast to media reports that it would consider such a move.
- The proposed bid of €41/share already represented an unusually high premium and should not be taken as a starting point for further increases, the sources say.
- POT was said to be confident of winning over shareholders with its current $8.7B bid, but that it would also be open to raising it slightly under certain conditions.
Tue, Jul. 7, 3:48 PM
- Potash Corp. (POT -2.2%) reportedly would be open to raising its $8.6B bid for K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) if the German company could reveal more value not currently seen by the Canadian company.
- POT's €41/share bid represents a 43% premium to the average weighted price of K+S shares over the past six months, but K+S CEO Norbert Steiner has said the Legacy project alone is worth at least €21/share on top of €29 for the German company’s existing operations.
- The market may be factoring in a better than 50-50 probability that a deal happens, but J.P. Morgan Ben Scarlett sees only a one-in-three chance of success, believing a deal would face substantial execution risk and anti-trust or other concessions.
- The firm thinks European and North American anti-trust authorities will examine the impact of a deal in their own regions, and perhaps invoke conditions that require approval from authorities in places such as Brazil, China and India.
Thu, Jul. 2, 4:58 PM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) reportedly plans to analyze K+S’s (OTCQX:KPLUY) response and reasoning behind the rejection of the Canadian company's takeover offer before deciding on its next move, as it still sees strong logic as well as an opportunity to reach an agreement.
- K+S CEO Norbert Steiner sees the logic behind POT's bid as removing higher-cost production from an oversupplied market; indeed, POT has long preached the virtue of price stability and has questioned plans by rival producers to build new mines.
- By proposing a takeover, POT might be looking for a way to slow construction of K+S’s new Legacy mine, and a deal would hand it another aging and costly potash mine in Germany, Citi analyst P.J. Juvekar says.
Thu, Jul. 2, 8:18 AM
- K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) plans to reject Potash Corp.'s (NYSE:POT) $8.6B-plus takeover offer because it considers the bid too low, Bloomberg reports.
- POT said last week that it made a “friendly” takeover bid, believed to be slightly more than €40/share.
- The German company is preparing to announce its opposition to the bid as early as today, according to the report.
Mon, Jun. 29, 8:58 AM
- Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) does not plan any mine closures at K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) if its bid for the German company is successful, according to multiple reports.
- K+S is said to be concerned that POT wants to take capacity out of an oversupplied market in order to boost profitability, but sources tells Reuters that POT intends to keep K+S's German mines operational, would not divest its market-leading salt business, and would continue with the development of a $4B legacy mining project in Canada.
- POT's exact bid amount for K+S has not been stated, but reports say it represents an almost 60% premium to K+S's 12-month trailing average stock price of 26 euros before the news of the takeover proposal, which equates to a price of 41.60 euros/share.
Fri, Jun. 26, 2:50 PM
- Potash Corp.'s (POT -2.1%) attempt to buy rival K+S (OTCQX:KPLUY) and create a company capable of controlling up to 30% of the global potash market is likely to face pushback from the German company and regulatory hurdles, analysts say.
- WSJ reports that K+S is likely to reject the confirmed offer from POT, believed to come in at slightly more than €40/share ($44.80) in cash, since it is seen as undervaluing the dominant position the two could achieve in North America, where POT has major mines and K+S is developing its own mine.
- Many analysts say the combined large market share in North America, and in other markets including Germany, means that German regulators likely would reject a takeover, particularly since Germany nixed a similar takeover attempt in 1997.
- K+S has sunk €2B ($2.2B) into a new Canadian potash mine which should start up in late 2016, which will add low-cost capacity of 2M metric tons/year for K+S - and which POT seems to be trying to scoop up on the cheap, writes WSJ Heard on the Street's Helen Thomas.
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