(Reuters) – Shares of Canada’s First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) rose as much as 5% to their highest since May on Monday after Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd (600362.SS)(0358.HK) agreed to pay $1.1 billion to become the miner’s largest shareholder.
State-backed Jiangxi Copper, one of China’s biggest copper producers, said on Monday it would buy Cupric Holdings Ltd from Pangaea Investment Management Ltd.
The target held around 18.015% of First Quantum’s issued share capital as of Dec. 9, according to a separate Jiangxi Copper filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday.
“The transaction is in line with the company’s international strategy,” the filing said. The move adds to speculation about First Quantum amid heightened expectations for deals in copper, seen as a critical ingredient in low-carbon technologies.
Analysts also cited a Chinese media report on Saturday that said Rio Tinto (RIO.L) had joined the bidding for First Quantum. Reuters could not independently verify the report. Representatives with First Quantum and Rio were not immediately available for comment.