* Talks to form joint bid collapse- report
* Cyprus court move seen as reason- report
NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Chinese chemical maker Sinochem (600500.SS) held talks with Russian fertilizer maker UralKali (URKA.MM) over a possible joint bid for Potash Corp POT.TO, but those negotiations have collapsed, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The talks had been “serious,” though many had doubted they would come to fruition, the newspaper said.
The latest move means Sinochem, which is controlled by the Chinese government, has few options as it looks to satiate its growing need for fertilizer and counter BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX) $39 billion play for Potash Corp, the world’s largest fertilizer producer.
The talks with Sinochem fell apart after a court in Cyprus froze the 25 percent stake in UralKali held by Suleiman Kerimov, the Russian company’s largest shareholder, the FT said.
Many Russian companies are registered in Cyprus, and the move by the court in effect hindered UralKali from negotiating further, the FT said.
Potash is generally considered the third-most important fertilizer for farmers to use, after nitrogen and phosphate. Its use has been spiking in recent decades as a climbing world population boosts food demand.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder