Soquimich Rallies in Chile as Potash Says BHP Offer Undervalues Fertilizer

Soc. Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Chile’s biggest fertilizer producer, rose the most since November 2008 after Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc, a Soquimich shareholder, rejected a takeover offer from BHP Billiton Ltd.

Soquimich, as the company is known, gained 6.6 percent to 21,364 pesos at 4:39 p.m. New York time.

Potash’s board turned down the unsolicited $39 billion cash offer from BHP for failing to “reflect both the value of our premier position in a strategically vital industry and our unparalleled future growth prospects,” Chairman Dallas Howe said today in a statement.

“Potash’s own projections for the global fertilizer business led it to see BHP’s offer as too low and this is giving a boost to all of the industry,” Rodrigo Mujica, an analyst at BCI Corredor de Bolsa SA, said today by telephone from Santiago.

Norte Grande SA and Soc. de Inversiones Oro Blanco SA, holding companies through which Julio Ponce controls Soquimich, rose as much as 5.5 percent in Santiago trading. A third holding company, Soc. de Inversiones Pampa Calichera SA, rose 5.9 percent.

Potash competitors Intrepid Potash Inc. and Mosaic Co. also advanced, both rising as much as 11 percent in New York. Yara International ASA, the largest publicly traded nitrogen- fertilizer maker, jumped as much as 6.6 percent in Oslo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

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