BHP was rebuffed twice by Noront’s biggest shareholder before making takeover bid – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 31, 2021)

BHP Group Ltd. had designs on Ring of Fire exploration company Noront Resources Ltd as early as the spring, but on two occasions its plans were stymied by Wyloo Metals Ltd., Noront’s biggest stakeholder.

Melbourne-based BHP on Tuesday made a $0.55 a share takeover offer for Noront, obliterating a previous $0.315 approach by fellow Australian company Wyloo Metals.

A regulatory filing this week shows that BHP first approached Toronto-based Noront in April with a proposal to acquire a 9.9 per cent stake in the company.

While Noront was in favour of the arrangement, BHP needed the approval of Wyloo, the company’s biggest debt holder, before it could go ahead. Wyloo refused to give its consent.

BHP came back in May with a new offer to acquire 19.9 per cent of Noront at a 10 per cent premium to the recent market price. Once again, Wyloo didn’t play ball. “On May 17, 2021, Wyloo informed Noront that Wyloo had determined it would not provide its consent,” the document said.

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