First Quantum quashes Rio rumour, says Jiangxi is no threat – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – December 10, 2019)

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. says it hasn’t received any takeover approaches — including from Rio Tinto Group — since it last quashed rumors about a play in September.

The company’s president said that while executives were caught off guard by this week’s share purchase by Jiangxi Copper Co., there’s no chance that will lead to a takeover bid either.

The Vancouver-based miner has been in talks with Jiangxi for roughly a year about selling a minority stake in its Zambian operations to the Chinese company, but there’s no deal on the table yet, Clive Newall said Tuesday in a phone interview.

“It came as a bit of a surprise when they appeared on the shareholder register, but their intentions still seem to be genuine and we’re continuing our discussions,” Newall said of the report this week that Jiangxi paid US$1.1 billion to acquire an 18 per cent stake in First Quantum.

First Quantum’s shares extended losses to an intraday low of $13.03, down 3.6 per cent, following the comments. The stock fell 2.7 per cent to close at $13.15 in Toronto. Jiangxi initially approached the Canada-based miner about acquiring a minority stake in its Zambian assets, Newall said. As part of those talks, the company required Jiangxi to sign a non-disclosure agreement that restricts it from buying more than 20 per cent of First Quantum’s shares, he said.

For the rest of this article: