Potashcorp gives up on ICL

Potashcorp's CEO Bill Doyle won't be expanding his company's ownership interests by buying all of ICL.

"While we continue to believe that such a transaction would be of tremendous benefit to stakeholders of both companies and the State of Israel, there must be receptivity to foreign investment and certainty in the rules that govern such investment," said Doyle in Wednesday's Q1 release.

"We have therefore concluded that now is not the time to pursue this opportunity and will focus our energies on other options to maximize shareholder value."

Isreal Chemical Ltd. is a fertilizer and specialty chemical company. It has rights to mine the Negev Desert for potash and phosphates. It trades on the Israel Stock Exchange.

Israeli officials took a dim view of a buyout by Potashcorp, which already has a 14% stake in ICL.

“The State of Israel’s natural resources are a public asset and the Israeli public should be the first to benefit from them,” said Israel's finance minister, Yair Lapid, in an email to Bloomberg earlier this month.

Lepid said his government would “adamantly oppose” an acquisition by Potashcorp.

ICL traded down 4.47% on Thursday to ILS4,340 (US$1,203.78).

Potashcorp was up 2.8% to $40.75.

Picture of Bill Doyle taken by International Fertilizer Industry Association