Magma Energy founder and CEO Ross Beaty appeared on an episode of Business News Network’s (BNN) SqueezePlay September 20th, espousing his optimism for the success of HS Orka and Magma Energy’s business in Iceland. As was reported earlier this week, the parliamentary committee charged with weighing the legalities of the Magma purchase of HS Orka found that the acquisition was, in fact, legal.
While Beaty spoke fluidly about his optimism for success in Iceland he became visibly nervous and repeatedly stumbled over his words when asked to defend Magma’s current financial position. Stock in Magma Energy, which was first registered on the Toronto Stock Exchange in July 2009, has sunk over the past year from its August 2009 high of $2.00, to it’s current value of just $1.20.
Possibly more interesting than talks of Magma Energy and its relation to Iceland was when the conversation turned to another massive Canadian company (not owned by Beaty), PotashCorp.
To contextualize, PotashCorp is a massive Canadian mining company and the world’s largest producer of potash – one of three primary nutrients used to produce fertilizer and one of Canada’s natural resources. Much like geothermal in Iceland.
When asked by SqueezePlay what he thought of Australian mining giant BHP Billiton’s bid to take over PotashCorp Beaty was rather direct, saying, “I hate it, to be honest! I hate it! I hate losing these big companies from Canada. This is a global treasure, PotashCorp. Just like Inco and Falcon Ridge and Alcan were lost to foreign investors… I hate it because having a big head office in Canada really brings a tremendous amount to Canada and to Canada’s role as a global mining country.”
Beaty continues to explain that despite his hatred for the deal he respects the free market and that Canada should allow BHP or interested Chinese parties to acquire PotashCorp if it is “the will of the shareholders.”
Commenting on Beaty’s initial expression of distaste for the take-over of a Canadian company, SqueezePlay’s host pokes fun at the Magma front-man, accusing him of beginning to “sound a little like Björk,” leading Beaty to chuckle “God Forbid!”
The full clip can be viewed online at http://watch.bnn.ca/squeezeplay/september-2010/squeezeplay-september-20-2010/ – clip350483