BHP on Wednesday raised its offer to buy out Canadian nickel miner Noront Resources, in the latest salvo of the bidding war between the Anglo-Australian company and billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.
The sweetened offer from BHP values Toronto-listed Noront at about $280 million, prompting Noront chief executive Alan Coutts to recommend the proposal.
ASX-listed BHP shares rose 1.2 per cent in Wednesday trading to A$38.84. On Tuesday, Noront stock fell 1.2% to C$0.78.
“BHP increases its all-cash offer to Noront shareholders to C$0.75 per share, representing a 36% premium to its previous offer, a 7% premium to the Wyloo offer and a 213% premium to Noront’s unaffected price,” the mining giant said in a note to investors.
A day earlier, Noront’s board recommended shareholders accept the C70¢-a-share offer from Forrest’s Wyloo Metals.
“This transaction provides a premium to Wyloo’s offer, and delivers certainty of value to Noront shareholders via an all-cash offer,” Coutts said of the BHP bid.
“The proposal from Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. at a price of C$0.70 per share, has ceased to be a superior proposal, and [the board] recommends the Noront shareholders tender their shares to the BHP Offer,” the Canadian miner said in a note to investors on Wednesday.
BHP said its offer is valid until 11.59pm on November 9, Toronto time.
The battle for Noront is the latest sign of accelerating efforts by mining multinationals to secure supplies of electric battery ingredients such as nickel and lithium ahead of an expected surge in demand.
Noront holds a claim in one of Canada’s largest potential mineral reserves, the Ring of Fire region in northern Ontario.
In August, BHP agreed to sell its global oil and gas division to Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, partly to free up its ability to increase spending on nickel and copper.
- George Russell