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April 5, 2022

Western Areas plans to scrap buyout deal with Australian miner IGO

According to the independent expert report, IGO’s offer was neither fair nor reasonable for Western Areas.

The board of directors of nickel-focused, base metal miner Western Areas (WSA) plan to terminate the proposed $829.29m (A$1.10bn) takeover deal by Australia’s IGO Limited (IGO), via a board-recommended scheme of arrangement.

WSA has suspended trading following a report by an independent expert that the proposed offer was not in the best interest of its shareholders, IGO said.

It also reported that the offer from IGO was neither fair nor reasonable.

As a result, WSA’s board intends to terminate the scheme implementation deed with IGO.

According to the deal signed in December 2021, WSA shareholders would receive A$3.36 in cash for each share held.

IGO said it would consider all options with respect to the scheme upon receiving and reviewing the draft independent expert report.

The company, however, said there was no certainty that the scheme would proceed.

IGO said in a statement: “As previously stated, IGO’s valuation of Western Areas and the proposed scheme consideration of A$3.36 in cash per share were based on IGO’s long-term view of the nickel market fundamentals and price.

“Despite recent volatility in the nickel price, IGO’s long-term view on the nickel price has not materially changed.

“IGO remains focused on pursuing growth opportunities that deliver value to IGO’s shareholders. While it will assess all options available with respect to the scheme, IGO will remain disciplined in the execution of all merger and acquisition activity.”

Last month, IGO said it would delay the acquisition of WSA due to significant volatility in nickel prices.

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