Two London-listed Russian fertiliser groups have agreed a deal to create the world’s largest potash producer, in a $23.9bn merger that highlights the growing value of the fertiliser industry, reports the FT. The board of UralKali, controlled by Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, on Monday approved a merger with smaller rival Silvinit. The deal comes weeks after miner BHP Billiton abandoned its $40bn hostile bid for Canada’s PotashCorp, up to now the world’s top producer. The WSJ reports that UralKali may issue a 50bn-ruble denominated bond ($1.62bn) to finance the deal, while Lex notes the deal’s “Byzantine structure” and says that UralKali’s shareholders will benefit far more than “the world’s farmers hoping to fertilise their crops”.
Two Russia fertiliser groups have combined to create the world’s largest potash producer by output in a $23.9bn merger that underlines the growing value of an industry fuelled by rising food consumption in countries like China and India, reports the FT. The directors of UralKali, controlled by Kremlin-linked tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, voted on Monday to approve the company’s merger with Silvinit, its smaller domestic rival. The deal, which has been months in the making, comes weeks after miner BHP Billiton abandoned a $40bn hostile takeover bid for PotashCorp, the Canadian company that previously was the world’s leading producer. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, signalled his backing for the deal last week with a spokesman confirming that he had been informed of the potential tie-up.
Breaking pre-market news on Friday,
- Uralkali confirms talks over reverse takeover by Silvinit — statement. Read more
An even bigger week than usual for potash-related deals and developments with Russia — undoubtedly spurred to new competitive heights by BHP’s hostile $38.6bn bid for Canada’s PotashCorp — signalling its support for the planned merger between potash producers Uralkali and Silvinit.
On top of that come reports on Thursday that China Mining United Fund, which owns minority stakes in various potash producers including Canada’s Allana Potash Corp, is eyeing Allana’s Ethiopian potash project and could raise its stake in the company. Read more