Potash holds out hope of rival bids

BHP Billiton will not be the only bidder for PotashCorp of Saskatchewan, the Canadian company said in a letter to shareholders yesterday.

The group, which is the subject of a $130-a-share offer from the Anglo-Australian mining giant, has asked its advisers to find an alternative bidder in the hope of ramping up the price. Yesterday PotashCorp said that it had been approached by third parties expressing interest in a bid, adding that BHP will not be the only bidder in the process. Sinochem, the Chinese state-owned chemicals group is known to be considering a bid, possibly for a minority interest in a move designed to block BHP.

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