BHP Billiton, the $200bn mining company, finds itself in the middle of a massive geopolitical independence row due to its hostile takeover of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.
Marius Kloppers, the chief executive of FTSE 100 stalwart BHP, is taking a $39bn offer for Canadian fertilizer giant PotashCorp directly to shareholders after its board dismissed the amount as “grossly inadequate”.
However, the deal is set to get even uglier due to PotashCorp’s relationship with Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), Morocco’s state phosphates company. OCP is estimated to supply around 500,000 tonnes of phosphates to PotashCorp. The Sahrawi people have long fought for the independence of the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara and have accused PotashCorp of propping up an “illegal regime” by importing so much phosphate. Three vessels filled with phosphates are understood to have sailed to PotashCorp facilities so far this year.
BHP Billiton urged to pull Potash Corp out of Western Sahara
Activist group wants BHP to halt the export of phosphates from disputed region if it takes control of Potash Corp