Province to Sue Canadian Govt If BHP Bid Approved : Report

Saskatchewan will sue the federal government if Canada approves BHP Billiton Ltd.’s (BHP) $39 billion hostile takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT), Bloomberg reports.

Premier Brad Wall said the province has “made a well-rounded, compelling case that the answer in this takeover bid from Investment Canada should be ‘no,’ and that the wishes of the province should be respected.” Wall also said the federal government should compensate the province for lost revenues if it approves the BHP’s bid, adding the people of Saskatchewan would not be “on the hook” for Ottawa’s decision to approve the takeover. “It will be Ottawa’s deal, not Saskatchewan’s deal,” Wall said.

A legal challenge would be swift, Mr. Wall was quoted as saying to reporters yesterday in Regina, the provincial capital.

Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement plans to say today whether Canada will allow the deal to proceed after markets close at 4 p.m. New York time, a person familiar with the announcement told Bloomberg News.

Potash lost $0.12, or 0.08 percent, to $145.10 at 11:13 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. BHP declined 38 cents, or 0.45 percent, to $84.53.

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