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Sinochem Said to Be Likeliest Rival to BHP Potash Bid

Sinochem Group, China’s largest fertilizer trader, has emerged as the likeliest bidder to rival BHP Billiton Ltd.’s $40 billion offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., three people familiar with the matter said.

Chinese authorities chose Sinochem as the country’s potential bidder and are allowing the Beijing-based company to begin piecing together an offer that would likely involve taking a majority stake in Potash Corp., the people said. Sinochem would prefer to involve Canadian pension funds or other Canadian investors to create more support for an offer, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the talks are private.