BHP signals it is willing to walk away from bid for OZ Minerals – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 16, 2022)

BHP Group Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company by market value, appears willing to walk away from its latest major takeover proposal. After the release of the miner’s quarterly earnings Tuesday, BHP chief executive Mike Henry said in a call with media that OZ Minerals Ltd. would be “nice to have” but is not a “must have.”

Earlier this month, Melbourne-based BHP proposed a US$5.8-billion takeover of its fellow Australian copper and nickel producer. While the offer was 30 per cent above OZ’s market price, it was well below its peak share price, reflecting the sharp sell-off across the mining sector over the past few months. OZ Minerals rejected the offer, calling it “highly opportunistic.”

Mr. Henry said Tuesday that he was “pretty disappointed” but added that the offer was full and fair. BHP will be careful in its M&A strategy, he said, and has plenty of other growth options if it fails in its quest for OZ.

“We have to remain so disciplined when it comes to the decisions that we make around M&A,” he said. “We have lots of levers for growth, and M&A is but one of those levers.”

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