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Friday, October 31, 2014
Saskatchewan

GOVERNMENT RELEASES CONFERENCE BOARD REPORT ON POSSIBLE POTASHCORP TAKEOVER

BHP Billiton's proposed takeover of PotashCorp could reduce provincial revenues by at least $2 billion over the next 10 years while having little or no net effect on employment in the industry.

The report highlights some potentially positive impact from the repatriation of some PotashCorp head office jobs that have moved to Chicago. The report also clearly establishes the importance of stability for Saskatchewan in potash markets both in terms of price and volume.

Those are some of the key findings of a report prepared for the provincial government by the Conference Board of Canada. The report outlines both the risks and the opportunities associated with the potential acquisition of PotashCorp by BHP Billiton.

Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said the potential revenue loss is concerning because changes to the royalty structure to mitigate the loss could have negative effects on the Saskatchewan industry and the other potash companies.

The province commissioned the Conference Board report in early September. Boyd said the government will consider its findings in the coming days as the province prepares its views on the proposed transaction to be provided to the federal government.

"There are both pluses and minuses to this BHP bid," Boyd said. "This report will help to inform our view of whether an ownership change represents a ‘net benefit' to Canada and to the people of Saskatchewan."

Boyd restated the government's position that no matter who owns the potash mines, the people of Saskatchewan own the potash.

"From the outset, Premier Wall has said our government will protect the interests of Saskatchewan people," Boyd said. "That will be our guiding principle as we deal with this matter in the days ahead."

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For more information, contact:

Rebecca Rogoschewsky
Executive Council
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0980
Cell: 306-529-1601

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