China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. is set to acquire Canadian base-metals miner Nevsun Resources Ltd for $1.9-billion, trumping Lundin Mining Corp.’s hostile offer in the biggest takeover in the domestic mining sector this year.
Vancouver-based Nevsun had been seeking a white knight after rejecting a series of hostile takeover offers from Toronto-based Lundin Mining on valuation grounds. In a statement, Nevsun announced it had reached a friendly deal with Zijin Mining for $6 a share, 26-per-cent above Lundin’s $4.75 tender offer.
During a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, Nevsun chief executive officer Peter Kukielski called the takeover by Zijin Mining an “excellent outcome,” after a thorough strategic review, which saw the company contact around 50 counterparties. Nevsun considered various takeover scenarios, including selling its assets piecemeal to more than one buyer before settling on Zijin Mining.
Shares in Nevsun surged by 17.8 per cent to close at $5.82 a share on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, a sliver below Zijin Mining’s offer.
In an interview, Mr. Kukielski said he didn’t anticipate any trouble winning regulatory approval for the deal considering the company’s main assets are located abroad, and it only has a very small head office in Canada, with few domestic jobs on the line.