Elf-Aquitaine to Sell Texasgulf Phosphates Unit

From Reuters

French oil group Elf-Aquitaine Inc. said Monday that it will sell its phosphates unit Texasgulf Inc., based in Raleigh, N.C., for $810 million to Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest potash producer.

The Williams Cos., which owns a 15% stake in Texasgulf, also agreed to the sale.

The companies said in a statement that they have called off the initial public offering of 15 million shares of Texasgulf that was announced in January.

Elf is a giant oil producer that the French government privatized in February, 1994. It has an 85% stake in Texasgulf.


Potash said that it will pay $810 million for Texasgulf and will assume $25 million of debt.

“Like us, Texasgulf is a large low-cost producer, a significant supplier in the domestic market and poised for growth in the offshore market,” Potash Chairman C.E. Childers said.

Potash Corp. stock gained $2.75 to close at $38.50 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday. Williams was up 12.5 cents at $29.675.

Texasgulf was Elf’s first U.S. acquisition in 1981.