NEW YORK – An investor in Hudbay Minerals wants to meet with the Toronto miner to discuss replacing members of its board, as well as to seek assurances it won’t pursue acquisitions or joint venture without consulting shareholders, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Waterton Global Resource Management has expressed its concerns to Hudbay chairman Alan Hibben, telling him that it would reserve the right to do anything it deemed necessary to improve the company’s performance, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.
Waterton – which has been building its position in Hudbay – now holds about 7% of its shares, up from 4.8%, this person said.
Hudbay has invited Waterton to meet with some of its directors after management had a brief, first meeting with the firm on August 31, a representative for Hudbay said in a statement.
"Hudbay’s management and board routinely engage with shareholders and carefully considers their input," the representative said. "To the company’s knowledge, the shareholder you mention has been invested in the company for a short time."
A representative for Waterton declined to comment.
Waterton is asking Hudbay to agree to a moratorium on acquisitions after Bloomberg News reported this month that the company is in talks to acquire Mantos Copper, a Chilean miner.
Waterton outlined its opposition to the deal in a public letter on October 4. The private equity firm is concerned that Hudbay hasn’t given it assurances that it won’t pursue the transaction in any form, the person familiar with the matter said.
Hudbay mines for zinc and copper, primarily in Canada’s Manitoba province. Its shares have fallen about 45% this year amid a slide in copper and zinc prices.
Hudbay is the second Canadian miner to be pushed for changes this year by a activist shareholder. Detour Gold is in a proxy battle with Paulson & Co., which is seeking to replace its entire board.