Canada says BHP takeover would hit market access

OTTAWA (BestGrowthStock) – Canada’s farm minister, dropping the first hint as to why Ottawa blocked BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX: ) takeover bid for Potash Corp (POT.TO: ), said on Thursday the proposed buyout would have given Australia too much of an advantage in markets such as India and China.

“Having someone different mine it (potash) certainly does make a difference in that Australia is a major marketer of a lot of the same foodstuffs that Canada is. We’re a volume producer — so are they,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told the House of Commons in reference to the Anglo-Australian miner’s $39 billion bid.

“And for them to be able to go to the Indias and Chinas of the world and say ‘We now control your fertilizer too’ I think would have had a very detrimental effect. And I know the ministry of industry took all of that under advisement and it helped him … formulate the decision.”

Industry Minister Tony Clement shocked markets by announcing on Wednesday he would not approve BHP’s takeover bid in its current form.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

Canada says BHP takeover would hit market access