November 22, 2016 / 8:12 PM / 2 years ago

Chile regulator says purchase of SQM stake may require public share offer

SANTIAGO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chile’s SVS securities regulator said on Tuesday that the eventual buyer of Oro Blanco’s stake in Pampa Calichera must make a public offer to shareholders in fertilizer company SQM if the acquisition allows the purchaser to control SQM’s board.

An indirect stake in Chile’s SQM , one of the world’s biggest lithium and iodine suppliers, has been for sale since December when holding company Oro Blanco invited buyers to make an offer for its entire 88 percent interest in Pampa Calichera.

Pampa Calichera in turn owns about 23 percent of SQM, also a major producer of potash and fertilizer chemicals.

The SVS note came in response to a regulatory inquiry by Hong Kong’s HK Scott Minerals Company, one of the firms interested in buying the stake.

“Any person or entity that acquires a controlling stake in Pampa Calichera ... must launch a public share offer to SQM shareholders if the operation allows the buyer to elect enough SQM board members to control decision making,” the securities regulator said. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Gram Slattery; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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