Teck CEO sees split plan as 'most strategic' option for shareholders

19th April 2023

By: Reuters


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SANTIAGO - Teck Resources' CEO said on Tuesday he believes the plan to split his company's coal and copper businesses will be safer and more-lucrative for shareholders than Glencore's $22.5-billion takeover attempt.

"A shareholder vote against the split is a vote for status quo and far fewer paths to create value," CEO Jonathan Price told investors on a hastily arranged Tuesday evening conference call.

Price added that he believed Teck's plan to split would immediately benefit shareholders, but that Glencore's proposal would not pay off for at least two years.

Teck management also estimated that post split, shares of Teck Metals could trade at C$100 ($74.67) or higher, about 55% above Tuesday's close.

Glencore's unsolicited bid for Teck earlier this month was the latest in a wave of mining industry buyout offers fueled in part by rising global opposition to new mine construction and growing demand for copper, a metal critical to the green energy transition.

Teck's leadership has repeatedly rejected Glencore's offer as too low and one that would unnecessarily expose its shareholders to Glencore's large thermal coal business and an unwanted oil trading business.

Vancouver-based Teck has scheduled a shareholder vote for April 26 on its split plan.

"We're excited about the decision that we put to our shareholders," Teck COO Harry Conger said during a panel presentation at the World Copper Conference in Santiago, Chile on Tuesday .

Conger, who declined to elaborate when approached after his panel presentation, was a last-minute replacement for Price at the conference, which the company is sponsoring.

Teck, which has said it would explore a corporate transaction or partnership if it splits, has been approached by Anglo American and five other miners interested in its base metals business, sources told Reuters earlier this week.

Anglo CEO Duncan Wanblad declined on Tuesday to comment on Teck's takeover approaches. He did say he would be open to a partnership between Teck's Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) copper project and Glencore and Anglo's jointly-owned Collahuasi mine, both in Chile.

A banker close to the situation said a joint venture between the two assets could be valued at around $25 billion.

"I do absolutely see that there is a Collahuasi/QB2 approach and independently of what happens to Teck, there is an opportunity there that we will all go after," Wanblad said on Tuesday during Anglo's Sustainability Performance Review.

Separately, Robert Friedland, CEO of Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines, said in a series of tweets on Monday night that Canada's government should not "lightly sacrifice" Teck to Switzerland-based Glencore at a time when Ottawa wants to position itself as an important global supplier of green energy transition minerals.

"It is short-sighted to sell to Glencore without exploring Teck's valuable opportunities across the industry," Friedland said.

Edited by Reuters


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