Sprint Capital acquires Kazakh potash project

Hong Kong private equity firm Sprint Capital has announced the acquisition of a major potash project in the western part of Kazakhstan.

Deal Journal says that Sprint purchased potash exploration and mining company Satbor LLP from Kazakhstan's Satimola Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

Satimola first sought a London IPO in 2010, but was forced to withdraw due to uncertain market conditions. The company has since employed an auction process to find a buyer.

Sprint first invested $10 million in the project in November, with a further $3 billion in capital expenditures required to bring the project to fruition.

These are bright times for the potash industry, with food security now a paramount concern for emerging giants such as China, India and Brazil, and demand for the vital fertilizer ingredient on the rise.

Recent drought conditions in North America's key corn growing areas have also improved the fortunes of major potash suppliers in Canada.

Sprint Capital is currently focusing its attention on commodities which will enjoy surging demand from China and other emerging giants. The company obtained a 25% stake in Australia coal developer Stanmore Coal last year for $36 million, in what was its first ever investment in a publicly listed company.