Businessman Kevin O'Leary is apologizing for a comment he made on a CBC News program last fall talking about Saskatchewan's potash interests.

"In the heat of a debate ... I used an inappropriate phrase," O'Leary said in a statement released by CBC. "As the CBC's independent ombudsman pointed out in a recent ruling, the phrase was offensive and inappropriate. I agree. I withdraw the remark and apologize to those who were offended. I intend to make this clear on the show."

O'Leary's remark was made in reference to opposition in Saskatchewan to a hostile take-over of PotashCorp, a mining company that was privatized in the early 1990s.

When it was pointed out that some people felt the company should never have been sold to the private sector, O'Leary reacted with the phrase that led to the complaint.

"You are an Indian giver with a forked tongue," he said.