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Potash Withdraws Plan to Increase Stake in Israel Chemicals

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest fertilizer producer by market value, dropped its bid to increase its holding in Israel Chemicals Ltd. to as much as 25 percent from 13.9 percent, a Potash spokesman said.

“The application was taking a long time so we withdrew it,” Bill Johnson, a spokesman for the Canadian company, said today in an interview. The Saskatoon, Canada-based fertilizer company applied in December to Israel’s Ministry of Finance to raise its stake.

Israeli Finance Ministry spokesman Boaz Stembler declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Antitrust Authority, Noa Zvi, declined to comment.

Potash will “evaluate options going forward,” Johnson said, regarding the company’s future acquisition strategy.

Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reported the decision earlier today without saying where it got the information.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cecile Gutscher in Toronto at cgutscher@bloomberg.net, or, Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net shoshanna ICL IT <EQUITY> CN POT CN <EQUITY> CN

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