* Government faces Nov. 3 deadline to issue ruling
* Industry minister says Ottawa will use its own analysis
* Potash shares edge lower in New York
TORONTO, Oct 22 Canada will decide whether it
will allow BHP Billiton's (BLT.L) $39 billion takeover bid for
Potash Corp (POT.TO) to proceed based on its own analysis, the
industry minister said on Friday, a day after the province of
Saskatchewan demanded that Ottawa scupper the deal.
"We have noted Saskatchewan's position and we have noted
the bidder's position, and we are in the process of
deliberations," Clement said.
"So we will do our own analysis and it will be done on our
schedule," he said after addressing a Toronto conference.
Under the Investment Canada Act, the federal government can
only allow a takeover bid by a foreign company to proceed if it
deems that a deal would bring a "net benefit" to Canada. Nov. 3
is the deadline for a ruling.
Potash, once owned by Saskatchewan, has rejected the
Anglo-Australian miner's $130-a-share offer since it was
presented August. It has sought to assure investors it expected
higher bids to emerge, though none have materialized.
On Thursday the government of Saskatchewan, Potash Corp's
home province, urged the government to block BHP's plan to buy
Potash. Officials say the province will lose billions of
dollars in revenue if a deal goes through.
Clement said the government would not be pressured by
either side. "Obviously there is a process involved and the
test that we employ under the Investment Canada Act is the net
benefit to Canada test," he said.
"That is the test we will employ here. We are at the stage
of acquiring information from the bidder and others."
Potash Corp shares edged lower on Friday afternoon to
$141.02 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is still well
about BHP's offer price, suggesting BHP may have to sweeten its
bid to carry the day with investors.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Writing by Pav Jordan; Editing by