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Potash: We’ll sell ICL stake if no chance of takeover

The Canadian company’s management said it still believed a merger would create significant value.

pot_logoBy Koby Yeshayahou /

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Thursday, and, as is customary, held a conference call with analysts after the financials were released. The analysts’ first questions to Potash’s management mainly concerned the latest speculation about the possible acquisition of Israel Chemicals Ltd.(TASE: ICL) and Potash’s announcement last week that it was withdrawing from the deal for now. It turns out that the announcement relates to the immediate future, and that in the longer term Potash’s management still believes that a merger between the two companies would create significant value for shareholders.

Potash president and CEO William Doyle said that his company intended to continue its partnership in Israel Chemicals. Potash has a 13.84% stake in the Israeli company.

Doyle went on to say that every country needed greater foreign investment that brings jobs, and that this was true both of Canada and of Israel. Potash CFO Wayne Brownlee said in response to a question that if Potash came to the conclusion that there was no chance of a deal in the long term, then it would sell its stake in Israel Chemicals, but that his was not the situation at present.

Two weeks ago, Israel’s Minister of Finance Yair Lapid said that he would vigorously oppose the sale of Israel Chemicals to Potash, and decided to set up a public committee to review the state’s rights in natural resources managed by private concerns.

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