Anglo American rejects BHP’s new takeover offer, potentially ending one of industry’s biggest merger efforts – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – May 14, 2024)

BHP Group’s effort to become the world’s biggest copper miner ran into another roadblock after smaller rival Anglo American rejected BHP’s second takeover proposal. BHP on Monday said its new proposal represented a 15-per-cent increase to the opening share exchange offer. If the improved offer had been accepted, Anglo shareholders’ ownership of the enlarged group would have gone to 16.6 per cent from 14.8 per cent.

“BHP put forward a revised proposal to the Anglo American board that we strongly believe would be a win-win for BHP and Anglo American shareholders,” Mike Henry, the Canadian chief executive officer of BHP, said in a statement. “We are disappointed that second proposal has been rejected.”

Mr. Henry now has to decide whether to raise BHP’s offer premium again in an effort to negotiate a friendly deal, launch a hostile offer or walk away. Under British takeover rules, BHP has until May 22 to submit a binding takeover offer or abandon the pursuit of London-based Anglo, which is less than a third of BHP’s size.

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