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SQM stake sale canceled as offers fall short of expectations

The board of Sociedad de Inversiones Oro Blanco S.A. is canceling the sale of its indirect stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, or SQM, after offers received fell short of expectations, Reuters reported Dec. 15.

SQM's former chairman, Julio Ponce, put the indirect stake in SQM up for sale in December 2015 via vehicle Oro Blanco, seeking bidders for its 88% interest in Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera S.A., which in turn has a 23% shareholding in SQM.

According to the newswire, Oro Blanco's SQM stakes are valued at about US$1.5 billion, while earlier reports said the company received offers as high as US$2.5 billion for its indirect ownership in the Chilean lithium and fertilizer producer.

The terms and conditions of the bids received "were not in the interests of the company or all its shareholders, while one of the conditions would have been impossible to comply with, so the board unanimously decided today to not continue with the process," Oro Blanco said in a statement.