Despite Political Machinations, Traders Think Potash-BHP Deal Is Likely

Includes: BHP, NTR
by: Mark McQueen

This Potash tea leaf-reading is getting confusing. A few hours after both the National Post and Globe and Mail reported that Investment Canada had recommended approval of BHP Billiton’s (NYSE:BHP) acquisition of Potash Corp. (POT), along comes Industry Minister Tony Clement to clarify where things are at.

No, says, Minister Clement, Investment Canada has not made a recommendation. In fact, he’s still reviewing the facts of the case. And, contrary to what was reported in the DTM, it is up to him to make the decision, not the Prime Minister.

All of this may be true (expect for the PM final approval angle), but it still doesn’t invalidate the media reports that Minister Clement’s officials have recommended that he approve the proposed deal. The question is: now what?

If the stock price is any measure ($19 above BHP’s $130 bid price), expectations of approval are very high.

Disclosure: I own POT puts