The Australian Financial Review and Reuters ran reports over the weekend quoting an analyst note that said BHP may consider a sale of Potash Corp's nitrogen and phosphate assets in the event of a deal.
At this stage BHP Billiton has no plans to sell any Potash Corp assets. Our offer is for the whole company, including the phosphate and nitrogen businesses, a BHP spokesman said, referring to Potash Corp.
The analyst, Mark Gulley of Soleil Securities, wrote his note late last week after a BHP briefing with analysts and investors.
BHP said that 70 percent of the value is in the potash assets and that over time it would probably look to possibly divest the nitrogen and perhaps the phosphates business, Gulley wrote.
Potash Corp's rejection of the $130-a-share offer has raised speculation that BHP, the world's largest miner, will have to raise its bid significantly to clinch a deal.
This has led analysts and investors to speculate that BHP may quickly offload any Potash Corp assets that it considers outside of its long-term plans.
BHP's spokesman on Monday denied that the company would have to take such actions.
Our financing is not dependent on asset sales and we do not require divestments to maintain balance sheet strength, he said.
Shares of Potash Corp were up 61 Canadian cents at C$155.60 in midday trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty)