Canada’s Baird to Meet With Israel Finance Minister Lapid

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will meet today with Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid as Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. seeks a takeover of Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL)

Baird’s meeting was confirmed by Israel’s Finance Ministry in an e-mail. Baird met with Israel Corp. Chairman Amir Elstein at a restaurant yesterday in Tel Aviv, daily newspaper Calcalist reported. Israel Corp. holds a 52 percent stake in ICL, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“He will try to soften the opposition in the government to the deal,” Richard Gussow, an analyst at DS Securities & Investments said today by phone, referring to Baird. “It is obvious he is here also to do public relations for the Potash- ICL deal.”

The acquisition of ICL, the nation’s second-largest publicly traded company, has sparked opposition from ICL workers and politicians including Lapid. Potash Corp., a Canadian company, held talks in October with the Israeli government about raising its stake in ICL from 14 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alisa Odenheimer in Jerusalem at; Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at

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