LONDON Aug 22 BHP Billiton (BLT.L), the world's
biggest miner, could be dragged into a geopolitical independence
row on Monday as a result of its hostile takeover bid for Potash
Corp (POT.TO)(POT.N), the Independent on Sunday reported.
The relationship between Canada's Potash Corp and Morocco's
state phosphates company, OCP, has led the Sahrawi people, who
are fighting for the independence of the Moroccan-occupied
Western Sahara, to accuse Potash Corp of propping up an "illegal
regime", the paper reported.
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), an activist group,
will write to BHP's (BHP.AX) management and shareholders on
Monday to urge them to reconsider their possible involvement.
OCP is estimated to supply about 500,000 tonnes of
phosphates to Potash Corp, the paper reported.
For more on BHP's bid [ID:nN22340110]
Insider on BHP debt link.reuters.com/zuq95n
Insider on white knight link.reuters.com/pyt26n
StarMine comparative data: r.reuters.com/bep85n
Graphic on BHP-Potash link.reuters.com/sum65n
Graphic on potash production r.reuters.com/meh36n
BHP - Potash deal calculator r.reuters.com/ruv65n
Elsewhere, the Sunday Times reported that Potash Corp is
seeking help from China's Sinochem Group to fight off BHP's
hostile $39 billion offer.
Sinochem, China's biggest chemical trader and top fertiliser
firm, is the parent company of Sinofert (0297.HK), in which
Potash (POT.N) owns a 22 percent stake.
Sinofert is considered the most logical candidate to lead a
counter offer, industry sources have said. [ID:nTOE67J035]
Sinochem is unlikely to make an outright takeover given the
national importance of Potash Corp, but it could buy a large
minority stake, the Sunday Times said.
Other takeover targets have tried to use a similar defence.
Two years ago, at the height of BHP's hostile takeover attempt
for Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) (RIO.L), China's state-back Chinalco
bought a 9 percent stake in Rio, a purchase meant to help block
(Reporting by Julie Crust; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)