K+S shelves plan to bid for US Compass Minerals – reports

13 March 2009 14:36  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--German fertilizer major K+S has shelved plans to make a bid for US salt firm Compass Minerals, according to German press reports on Friday.

The decision was in part due to the sharp rise in Compass’ share price after news in early March that K+S was interested in the US producer, Financial Times Deutschland and other papers reported, citing unnamed sources close to K+S’ supervisory board.

Compass’ share price dropped almost 13% to $53.89 in Friday morning trading in New York.

A spokesman for Kassel-based K+S did not return a call requesting comment.

CEO Norbert Steiner said during K+S' 2008 results briefing on Thursday that his company had the financial strength to “respond flexibly to investment and acquisition opportunities if they make sense strategically and satisfy our profitability criteria”.

However, K+S would not comment on market speculation about takeover bids or acquisition plans in North America or elsewhere, Steiner said.

In related news, Dow Chemical said earlier that it received bids for the Morton salt business that will be sold as part of Dow's acquistion of Rohm and Haas.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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