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Potash Corp. Gives Up on Bid to Buy Out Israel Chemicals

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Canadian fertilizer giant Potash Corp. has given up on its $15 billion offer to buy Israel Chemicals following strong opposition in Israel, where fears also were raised that Potash would move some local production to Jordan.

Potash, which already has a 14 percent stake in Israeli Chemicals, stated that although it maintains that the proposed purchase would be to Israel’s benefit, “There must be receptivity to foreign investment and certainty in the rules that govern such investment. Now is not the time to pursue this opportunity.”

Finance Minister Yair Lapid strongly opposed the takeover move of Israel Chemicals, which employees approximately 5,000 people at its Negev facilities, including the Dead Sea Works.

Potash also owns 28 percent of Arab Potash, and a takeover of Israel Chemicals might have been followed by moving some production to Jordan at the cost of Israeli jobs.

One Israel source, quoted by the Globes business website, said, “The atmosphere in Israel rejects foreign investors. There is hostility towards tycoons, especially those profiting from natural resources.”

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