No Potash For You!

Just like the famous Seinfeld episode of “No soup for you,” BHP was served up a “No potash for you!”

BHP Billiton’s multi-billion dollar offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan hit a wall – specifically – Saskatchewan’s feisty premier, Mr. Brad Wall.

We are a small province of a million people. BHP is a global mining giant with annual revenues of $53 billion (that’s what the “B” in BHP stands for – Billion!) or roughly more than five times the size of Saskatchewan’s $10 billion dollar 2010 annual budget. Yet the people have spoken in order to protect our natural resources from nasty foreign ownership.

Although, Potash Corp.’s ownership is already widely held throughout the world because it is a publicly traded company. Perhaps this isn’t really a ‘no’ but the start of better negotiations.

Apparently, humoungous global companies have bought Canadian companies in the past, made honourable promises like a teenage boy on a date, and then changed their minds or forgot their promises in the heat of the moment or when quarterly earnings mattered more than a little thing like integrity.

So, as parents, we’re going to protect our innocent daughter named Potash from nasty boys with lots of cash. But we don’t have the final say, unlike arranged marriages, I guess. The teenage boy still had a chance with the grandparents, the Federal Government of Canada. We, the parents, protested, and publicly stated that we hoped the grandparents would support the parents on principles alone. And, we all know principles aren’t really principles until they cost you money. We’re not discussing our promises of free trade, open borders and business for all.

The good news, for now, is that the grandparents supported the parents and the daughter is still safe at home.

She may elope, soon, though, because we think the Boy is going to get more cash. The Boy is also learning that he has to win over the parents and grandparents. Promises aren’t enough because we’re old school and we used to be teenage boys ourselves.

Eventually, (well, probably within the thirty day limit), we the parents, and the grandparents, will feel honoured with the amount of respect, er, cash being offered for our little Potash.

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