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Business

K+S shares jump on Potash takeover bid

K+S shares leapt as much as 40 percent in early morning trading Friday, reaching a three-year high. The surge comes as the German potash miner was offered a takeover proposal from Canada's PotashCorp.

K+S shares closed 30 percent higher at 37.66 euros ($42.02) on Friday, after the DAX-listed German potash miner confirmed the company had received a multi-billion-euro takeover bid from Canadian fertilizer producer PotashCorp.

PotashCorp proposed to pay 41 euros ($46) a share, sources close to the matter told Reuters News Agency. That's a 43 percent increase from the weighted six-month moving average price, Reuters analysts said.

If the deal goes through, K+S would become the first German blue-chip firm to be bought by a foreign company in a decade.

Salt biz at stake?

But K+S will likely reject the 8-billion-euro ($8.9-billion) takeover offer, considering the bid to be too low, the sources told Reuters.

Both K+S and PotashCorp declined to comment.

The world's fourth-largest potash producer, K+S believes Potash wants to take capacity out of an over-supplied market to boost profitability, the sources said, adding that K+S might close some of its high-cost German mines, as well as sell its salt business.

PotashCorp's bid is the latest move by a North American company on a European rival, as US and Canadian firms

take advantage of low interest rates

and

a weak euro

.

el/hg (Reuters, dpa)

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