PotashCorp reportedly in merger talks with Israeli smaller rival

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) is allegedly in talks with the Israeli government concerning a potential merger/ takeover of Israel Chemicals Ltd. in a deal that may be worth over $13.5 billion.

Potash, the world’s largest fertilizer producer, already owns about 14% of Israel Chemicals, which has a market value of about $16 billion and extracts minerals from the Dead Sea to make fertilizer and potash.

The news didn’t come as a surprise as the parts had been in talks earlier to try and increase their stake to 25%.

A takeover of Israel Chemicals, reports Bloomberg, would be at least three times larger than the biggest transaction completed in the Middle Eastern nation.

“In the short term this is a positive for ICL and fantastic for Israel Corp., (ILCO) but I think it will be very hard to get an approval for the deal,” Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel, said Thursday by email. “As Israel faces early elections we think it is unlikely the prime minister will approve this deal now and risk being criticized for selling natural resources and risking the delicate ecology of the Dead Sea.”

Israel Chemicals also manufactures flame-retardants, bromine compounds and other chemicals for the electronics, construction, automobile and oil and gas drilling industries, as well as products for the food, hygiene, fire safety, water treatment and pharmaceutical industries.


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