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Mosaic Seeks Bidders for Operations in Argentina and Chile

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Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Mosaic Co., the world’s largest phosphate-fertilizer producer, is selling its Argentina and Chile operations after revising its global strategy based on growth in potash and phosphate.

“After significant evaluation and review, Mosaic has decided to pursue a sale of our operations,” Rob Litt, a Mosaic spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement today in response to Bloomberg questions. “We will immediately begin preparations for a sale process and will work quickly to complete a transaction.”

Litt declined to confirm that the unit on the sales block produces 550,000 tons a year of fertilizer, employs 130 workers and has annual sales of $300 million, as reported earlier today by the Buenos Aires-based newspaper La Nacion. The company will continue to operate until a sale is completed, it said in a statement.

“It is clear Mosaic’s strategic plans are in a different part of the world,” Pablo Bussetti, president of the producers association called Fertilizar, said in a telephone interview from Bahia Blanca, Argentina. “They are the largest producers of phosphate in Argentina, with more than half of the market share, and I am sure they will receive many offers.”

Mosaic produces phosphate north of Buenos Aires in a factory near Rosario, Argentina, and handles distribution from Chile.

Mosaic agreed Oct. 28 to acquire a mine and other assets from CF Industries Inc. for $1.2 billion to boost its output of the crop nutrient in Florida.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net