China's Minmetals eyes bid for Australian miner | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 05, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 05, 2011

World Business

China's Minmetals eyes bid for Australian miner

China's Minmetals Resources Monday said it would offer Can$6.3 billion ($6.5 billion) for copper miner Equinox Minerals, in what would be the biggest Chinese takeover of an Australian resources firm.
The offer by the Hong Kong unit of China's largest metals trader would see Minmetals pay Can$7 a share for Equinox, which the Chinese firm said was 23 percent more than its closing price in Toronto Friday.
Minmetals currently owns 4.2 percent of Equinox. Minmetals shares rose 0.92 percent to HK$6.62 ($0.85) in afternoon trading.
The deal, which Minmetals expects to be completed by mid-2011, will give it access to Equinox's operations in Zambia and Saudi Arabia.
"Our offer for Equinox aligns with MMR's strategy for growth, enhancing our global production portfolio," Minmetals chief executive Andrew Michelmore said.
"The acquisition significantly expands and extends MMR's production profile of its operations to beyond 2030, and more than doubles MMR's exposure to the attractive fundamentals of the copper market," the company said.
Minmetals however said the offer was conditional on Equinox dropping a Can$4.8 billion bid for Canada's Lundin Mining.
Equinox said it would discuss Minmetals' proposal before commenting.
"The board of directors of Equinox will be meeting to consider this unsolicited proposal, and will comment further following careful consideration of the terms and implied value for Equinox," it said in a brief statement.
Equinox is listed in both Canada and Australia and any deal will require the approval of regulators in both countries.
If the deal goes ahead it will be twice the size of the $3.2 billion China's Yanzhou Coal paid for Australian miner Felix Resources in December 2009.
It is also the latest move by a Chinese state-owned firm to get a foothold in Australia's mining sector as it looks to tap the continent's huge natural deposits to feed its ever-growing economy.

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