Australian private equity firm Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. says it intends to spend $25 million to study the viability of building a battery metals processing plant in Ontario, if it succeeds in its attempt to buy Ring of Fire operator Noront Resources Ltd.
Last week, Wyloo Metals, a subsidiary of Perth-based investment holding company Tattarang, said it was prepared to buy Toronto based Noront for $133-million in cash, or roughly a 31 per cent premium to its market value.
Toronto-based Noront has not responded directly to Wyloo Metal’s proposal yet, but it has moved to put a “poison pill” in place, that would temporarily prevent Wyloo from taking the company over.
Noront chief executive officer Alan Coutts wrote in an email to The Globe and Mail on Monday that the company will wait until Wyloo tables a formal offer before it formally responds. “Should an offer be made, we will review it and respond in due course,” he said.
Wyloo Metals already owns 23 per cent of Noront’s shares, after buying the stake formerly owned by United States private equity firm Resource Capital Funds in December.
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