(Adds comments on review, virus impact on business)
April 21 (Reuters) - Australian industrial chemicals company Incitec Pivot on Tuesday said it will retain its fertiliser business after halting talks with buyers on a potential sale due to market uncertainty and travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus.
The Melbourne-based company had put its fertiliser business up for review in September last year, saying it would assess options including a potential sale, demerger or retention.
The company, Australia’s top distributor of fertilisers, said given uncertainties due to the fast-spreading coronavirus, it was “the right outcome” to retain Incitec Pivot Fertilisers and focus on its core operations.
The fertilisers and explosives producer said that a careful assessment for a potential demerger of the business was also undertaken.
Financial market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus has put pressure on prices in Australian M&A deals. Canadian firm Couche-Tard Inc’s buyout of Caltex Australia on Monday became the latest deal to be squashed by the impact of the virus.
Incitec said the virus outbreak has not had any significant impact on its operations so far, adding that the recent widespread rainfall across eastern Australia has created significant demand for its fertilisers.
Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru Editing by Chris Reese and Sam Holmes
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