Brazil regulator approves Mosaic purchase of Vale fertilizer unit

A view shows the company logo of Brazilian mining company Vale SA at its headquarters in downtown Rio de Janeiro August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian regulator has approved the acquisition of miner Vale's VALE5.SA fertilizer unit by U.S.-based Mosaic MOS.N without restrictions, according to a notice in the official government newspaper published Tuesday.

Mosaic agreed to buy Vale Fertilizantes in December for $2.5 billion in a deal that makes Vale the largest shareholder in the U.S. company while raising money to help the Brazilian miner to achieve its debt reduction goals.

“This acquisition gives Mosaic the opportunity to benefit from the growing Brazilian agriculture market. ... For Vale, the deal guarantees an important capital injection and a significant minority position in the global fertilizer business,” the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) said in its published opinion approving the deal.

Vale Fertilizantes has capacity to produce 4.8 million tonnes of phosphate fertilizers and 500,000 tonnes of potash, including five phosphate mines in Brazil, four production facilities and a Brazilian potash project.

Through the transaction, Mosaic also will buy the Kronau potash project in Canada and Vale Fetilizantes’ 40 percent stake in the Miski Mayo phosphate mine in Peru.

Mosaic opted not to buy the Rio Colorado potash project in Argentina and the Cubatão nitrogen and non-integrated phosphate venture, CADE said.

Vale will have a 11 percent stake in Mosaic after the conclusion of the deal and may appoint two members of Mosaic’s board of directors.

Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by David Gregorio