The proposed joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has died, and now there is pressure on BHP Billiton's CEO Marius Kloppers to complete the acquisition of Canada's Potash Corp.
The $40 billion hostile bid made by BHP Billiton for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc has run into a number of problems. Potash Corp has rejected the bid and dragged BHB Billiton to court. Now BHP Billiton will have to gain Canadian approval for the bid while Potash continues talks with third parties who are interested in the company.
A Citigroup Inc analyst Heath Jansen said that the collapse of the Rio Tinto deal along with the uncertainty of the Potash bid is likely to further the underperformance of BHP Billiton against the other major mining companies. Stocks of BHP Billiton have declined 4.5 % in Sydney while Rio Tinto has merely dropped 0.6% this year.
Another Analyst Paul Cliff of Nomura Holdings says that the company may now lift the bid for the Canadian fertilizer company in order to make the management agree to the deal. It remains to be seen how chief executive Marius Kloppers will deal with the takeover.