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EuroChem interested in buying K+S nitrogen operationsqrcode

Oct. 14, 2011

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Oct. 14, 2011
Russian fertiliser company EuroChem is keen to buy the nitrogen fertiliser operations of Germany's K+S, EuroChem's controlling shareholder Andrei Melnichenko told journalists on Thursday.

The company, which last month bought nitrogen fertiliser plants from K+S distribution partner BASF for around 700 million euros ($966 million), is in the process of bulking up its operations overseas.

"If the price is interesting we will buy," said the resources tycoon Melnichenko, who according to Forbes is the 17th richest man in Russia with a fortune of $8.6 billion.
EuroChem already owns 8.1 percent of K+S, although this has been steadily reduced over the past several months.

K+S has been disposing of non-core operations to focus on the mining of potash, the scarce fertiliser ingredient that has been rising in price as the world strives to grow enough food for a rising population.

Last month it announced that it might divest its own nitrogen operations.

"We are open for talks if somebody approaches us. We are keeping all options open for our nitrogen fertiliser business," a spokesman for the company said on Thursday.
K+S shares were flat at 43.8 euros at 1244 GMT, valuing the group at $11 billion.

EuroChem and K+S were in talks last year about jointly developing the Verkhnekamsk potassium salt deposits in central Russia, but the talks fell apart.
Source: Reuters

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