Germany’s K+S poised to buy Morton Salt from Dow - report

02 April 2009 01:23  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--German fertilizer major K+S is poised to buy the Morton Salt business from Dow Chemical in the US, according to news reports.

Financial Times Deutschland, citing unnamed banking sources, reported in its online editions that K+S was about to pay $1.5bn (€1.1bn) for Morton. The Wall Street Journal reported Dow was close to an agreement to pay $1.68bn.

Dow, which earlier on Wednesday closed its acquisition of Rohm and Haas, was trying to finance that deal by selling off some of the combined company’s business units, the paper said.

Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said last month it had been approached by several parties interested in buying Morton.

K+S was due to present at an investor conference in New York on Wednesday but cancelled at the last minute, the paper added.

K+S offices in Kassel, Germany were closed.

Dow Chemical did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

K+S was earlier this year seen as interested in acquiring US salt firm Compass Mineral but reportedly  shelved those plans after Compass’ share price shot up in the wake of takeover rumours.

In 2006, K+S strengthened its global salt business with the acquisition of Chilean producer SPL.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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