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BHP gives up $39bn bid for Potash Corp

Global mining company stands to lose $350m from collapsed bid.

BHP Billiton has withdrawn its $38.6bn hostile offer for Potash Corp after failing to satisfy the conditions Canada laid down for the proposed acquisition, the company confirmed on Monday.

The global miner - which stands to lose $350mn from the collapsed bid - had failed to obtain clearance under the Investment Canada Act and had therefore decided to withdraw the offer, said BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers.

Kloppers added that Canada's conditions would likely have "conflicted with BHP Billiton's business strategy and been counter to creating shareholder value."

BHP's takeover bid landed in trouble last week after Canadian industry minister Tony Clement affirmed that the company's offer for Potash would do nothing to improve Canada's economic standing abroad.

Potash Corp also rejected the offer as "wholly inadequate" and said BHP had heavily undervalued the company and its prospects.

Following the failed takeover bid, BHP said it would unfreeze a $13bn share buy-back scheme and return $4.2bn in "excess capital" to its investors.