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Potash Corp. Determined to Gobble Up Israel’s Giant Chemical Firm

By: JTA

The Canadian Potash fertilizer company is determined to buy Israel’s huge Israel Chemicals Ltd. (despite opposition among lawmakers and employees of the Israeli company.

Over 20 Israeli lawmakers met in Jerusalem Wednesday to discuss the issue, with some voicing strong opposition to the deal, according to Bloomberg.

“The sale of ICL to a foreign company would be abandoning residents of the Negev region and a slap in the face of every citizen of Israel,” Future (Yesh Atid) party lawmaker Meir Cohen was quoted as saying.

Potash Corp is the largest producer of the potash crop nutrient and already owns a 14 percent stake in ICL, which mines chemicals from the Dead Sea and is the world’s sixth-largest producer of potash.

Potash Corp Chief Financial Officer Wayne Brownlee has played down the protests in Israel, saying that “the opposition you’re seeing now is fear of the unknown.” He promised that Potash Corp would not cut production or layoff ICL employees.

Similar promises by other companies carrying out buy-outs frequently have been broken, and Israel Chemicals employees plan to stage protests in coming weeks to try and block the deal.

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