China grants regulatory approval for Agrium, PotashCorp merger

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Canada's Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has received approval from China's commerce ministry (MOFCOM) for its proposed merger with fertilizer firm Agrium.

MOFCOM's approval will be conditioned on the parties' commitment to divest PotashCorp's minority shareholdings in Arab Potash Company and Chile's SQM within 18 months and Israel Chemicals within nine months from the closing of the merger transaction. The companies are permitted to consummate the merger prior to the divestments, Potash said in a statement Tuesday.

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The approval is also conditioned on the commitment to convert PotashCorp's equity interest in Sinofert Holdings to a passive investment prior to the closing of the merger and ensure that Canpotex remains a stable, reliable and dedicated supplier of potash to China, the firm said in a press release.

The proposed merger has already been approved by antitrust regulators in Canada, Brazil, India and Russia, while a decisions in the US is pending. Both parties expect the transaction to close before year-end. Upon closing the merger, the new company will be named Nutrien.