‘The smart move is to buy it and break it up’: Speculation mounts as BHP examines Nutrien – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 29, 2022)


Don Bilson inadvertently waded into a minor Canadian political maelstrom over foreign investment when he dashed off a 250-word note on Jan. 19 suggesting Australia’s BHP Group Ltd. may want to buy Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd.

“I made an offhand remark,” the head of event-driven research at Gordon Haskett Research Advisors in New York told the Financial Post, “and, for some reason, the Canadian press thought I put a national jewel in play.”

On the surface, BHP, the world’s largest miner with a US$164-billion market cap, could likely raise funds and swallow Nutrien, which is the largest fertilizer company at a value of $49 billion.

But analysts more versed in Nutrien than Bilson, who doesn’t cover the company, have been puzzling over a deeper question: is BHP actually ready to make the plunge into agriculture and potash fertilizer? After all, that’s very different from the iron ore, copper and other commodities in its current portfolio.

For the rest of this article: https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/the-smart-move-is-to-buy-it-and-break-it-up-speculation-mounts-as-bhp-examines-nutrien