September 22, 2010 (Chinavestor) Sinochem International (SHA:600500), China's largest chemicals trader, has reportedly hired Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) to help the Chinese company evaluate plans to launch a counterbid to BHP Billiton's (NYSE:BHP) $38.6 billion hostile offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT), the world's largest fertilizer maker.
Speculation about a bid for Potash (NYSE:POT) from Sinochem (SHA:600500) has been increasing over the past two weeks. Last weekend, press reports said the chemicals company had approached the Chinese government for financial backing to make a rival offer to BHP's (NYSE:BHP).
Sources have also said Sinochem (SHA:600500) has approached Singapore's Temasek Holdings about joining a group to make an offer Potash (NYSE:POT). Chinese officials have ordered state-owned companies to meet investment bankers to explore options, according to Reuters.
Sinochem (SHA:600500) has yet to make an offical offer for Potash (NYSE:POT) and the Chinese company, along with Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) declined to comment on the most recent speculation.