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Yara’s fertilizer complex purchase to be reassessed by Brazilian antitrust regulator

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World Fertilizer,

According to Reuters, the Brazilian antitrust regulator has decided to investigate Yara International ASA’s purchase of a fertilizer complex from Vale SA.

Reportedly, this overturns an earlier ruling that approved the deal for the plant without any restrictions. According to Reuters, Yara reached an agreement to purchase the facility, which is located in Cubatão, Brazil, for US$255 million in cash in November last year.

A technical body at the antitrust regulator, Cade, reportedly signed off on the transaction in March. At the time, it claimed that the transaction would not provide Yara with a dominant foothold in any markets in which it operates.

However, Reuters now reports that João Paulo de Resende – a Cade board member – has argued that the antitrust regulator should reconsider its early ruling, due to Petrobras’ recent decision to mothball two fertilizer facilities. These two facilities reportedly make up approximately half of Brazil’s ammonia consumption.

The Cade board member reportedly stated that the mothballing of these two facilities not only affects the parameters used to analyse market share in several fertilizer markets, it is also likely to affect dynamics in the ammonia market.

Resende also added that Brazil imports ammonia largely via a port terminal that is connected to the Piaçaguera industrial complex that Yara would acquire as part of the deal.

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