Chinese private-equity fund Hopu Investment Management is leading a consortium considering a bid for Canada’s Potash (POT.NYSE, POT.TSX), according to the Wall Street Journal. The consortium purportedly has investors from Asia, Canada and the US, including at least two sovereign wealth funds and one Chinese investor involved in the mining or fertilizer business. The consortium would rival BHP Billiton (BHP.NYSE, BLT.LSE, BHP.ASX), which earlier this month launched a hostile US$38.6 billion takeover bid. It is welcome news for Potash, the world’s largest fertilizer producer, as it had been searching for a BHP rival in recent weeks. Even if the consortium fails to out-bid BHP, it could take a large enough stake to hamper the mining giant’s control, similar to how a 9% stake in Rio Tinto (RTP.NYSE, RIO.LSE, RIO.ASX) by Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco; ACH.NYSE, 2600.HK) thwarted a previous BHP takeover bid.
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