if they do - CEO has to go - this is second failed acquisition. How much money and time did he waste. If the Chinese buy POT - might as well cancel Jansen project - the chinese are big buyers and if they get POT - they wont need BHP potash.
BHP is in a tough spot - damned if they do - damned if dont.
They walk away - kiss the CEO goodbye and cancel Jansen. They stay - they are going to have to overpay which may mean kiss the CEO goodbye. Talk about painting yourself in a corner
have no problem @ all w/ a ceo who invests some time/money in looking @ a potential acquisition then walks away because another particular buyer or just the stock mkt itself makes the price too dear. rather see him do that 10 times in a row than overpay once.
According to calculations by Reuters Breakingviews, every $50 increase in the long-term price of a metric ton of potash, currently $350, adds about $20 to the Potash Corporation’s share value. BHP’s $130-a-share offer roughly reflects the current pricing situation.
To value the Potash Corporation, start with its other businesses. The phosphate and nitrogen units are worth about $11 billion, according to Morgan Stanley estimates. The company’s stakes in smaller listed rivals have a current market value of $8 billion.
The potash business is trickier to value. Deutsche Bank estimates that building two million tons of new potash capacity requires a $4 billion investment. On that basis, replacing the Potash Corporation’s 11.2 million tons of capacity would cost $22.4 billion.
Knock off next year’s estimated net debt of $3.5 billion, and the company’s standalone value is around $38 billion, or just about what BHP is offering.
Yet that valuation doesn’t capture the company’s plans to increase potash capacity to more than 17 million tons by 2015 — or BHP’s intention to produce almost as much potash as possible.
Assuming long-term potash prices remain at their current level, and that BHP runs the operations at 90 percent of future capacity, the potash business could generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around $3.2 billion after deducting local taxes. Apply a peer group multiple of nine times, and the Potash Corporation is worth about $148 a share, or right around where the shares are trading.
If potash prices dip to $300 a ton, the bid already looks full. But what if long-term prices rise? Only two years ago, potash peaked at $600 a ton. At $500, Potash shares could be worth $207 each, close to their highs during the commodity boom