BHP has increased its offer to purchase Canadian nickel miner Noront for $0.60 (C$0.75) per share in cash, topping Wyloo Metals’ offer.
Made through wholly owned subsidiary BHP Lonsdale Investments, the latest all-cash offer represents a 7% premium to Wyloo’s offer of $0.56 (C$0.70) per share earlier this week.
Following Wyloo’s offer, Noront subsequently notified BHP that it has until 25 October to match this offer.
BHP has now availed its option to amend the terms of its initial offer and support agreement.
The revised offer from BHP also represents a 36% premium to its previous offer of $0.44 (C$0.55) per share and a 213% premium to Noront’s unaffected price of $0.195 (C$0.241).
Noront has now recommended its shareholders tender their shares to BHP’s latest offer.
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The shareholders have until 9 November to accept the new offer from BHP.
Noront CEO Alan Coutts said: “Noront’s board of directors, determined that BHP’s improved offer is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders and recommends Noront shareholders tender their shares to the BHP offer.”
BHP chief development officer Johan van Jaarsveld said: “Our increased offer of C$0.75 per share provides a compelling premium for Noront shareholders and is available to shareholders now.
“Our offer provides shareholders with the value inherent in Noront’s portfolio of projects, including the Eagle’s Nest project, delivering shareholders who accept our offer certainty of value and immediate liquidity.”
Noront is engaged in developing Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum, palladium and chromite deposits in northern Ontario.
BHP and Wyloo Metals have been under a months-long bidding war to acquire Noront to capitalise on the increasing demand for the battery metal, which is used in electric vehicles (EVs).
Earlier this month, it was reported that BHP Group was in early negotiations with Ivanhoe Mines to purchase a part of the Western Foreland exploration area in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).