BHP Billiton has launched a hostile 30 billion euro bid for Potash Corporation.
BHP’s boss Marius Kloppers wants to create the world’s top fertiliser maker by buying the Canadian group.
BHP is already the world’s largest mining company – big in iron ore, copper and oil.
It does have an ongoing exploration programme for potash, which is a key ingredient of fertiliser, in Canada, but has yet to produce any.
Kloppers is betting increased demand for food will boost the price of potash.
BHP has decided to take its offer directly to shareholders, bypassing Potash Corporation’s board.
They had called the bid “grossly inadequate” but did say they might consider a more attractive proposition.
Which is why investors and analysts expect BHP will have to raise its offer, even if no other bidders emerge.