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The Globe and Mail

Morning Meeting: Governments v. buyers on Potash

Potash Corp.'s Rocanville mill in Saskatchewan. A Chinese bid for the fertilizer company looks a little less likely after reports that Sinochem Group can't get loans for the deal from state banks.

DAVID STOBBE/David Stobbe/Reuters

A look at some must-read news on deals and deal makers around the world.

Will anyone buy Potash Corp.?

Two key governments are standing in the way of a successful bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.

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A Chinese bid for the fertilizer company looks a little less likely. The Chinese government is now saying that Sinochem Group can't get loans for the deal from state banks, which may put a takeover out of reach, Bloomberg is reporting, citing two people familiar with the situation.

Meantime, the bid that is on the table from BHP Billiton PLC is running into steadily stronger government opposition in the province of Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan government is coming out and saying what it has danced around -- there is no "net benefit" to the province from the BHP bid. That's the contention of Bill Boyd, the provincial minister responsible for mining.

Of course, it's not the province that administers the key net benefit test to approve a big foreign takeover. That would be the federal government's responsibility. Still, the province does have some sway in Ottawa, which is required to take the province's opinion into account in weighing the bid. What's more, the Saskatchewan government is a conservative government, like Stephen Harper's government in Ottawa, and Saskatchewan is a key source of support for Mr. Harper in his bid to stay in power.

Kinross - we're done buying

Tye Burt, CEO of Kinross, says no more acquisitions for now after the big deal to swallow Red Back Mining.

Man Group may be takeover candidate

Takeover speculation is a regular occurrence in markets of late. Man Group, the hedge fund manager, is rising on talk that it may be taken out by an unnamed U.S. bank. Man is a top name in the alternative-asset space, and would appeal to a number of global banks. That would include Royal Bank of Canada, which is said by some in the hedge fund business to want to buy an alternative asset management firm.

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