BHP stands behind its C$0.55-a-share Noront offer

31st August 2021

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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The world’s biggest mining company BHP continues to stand behind its C$0.55-a-share offer for Canadian nickel explorer Noront Resource, but says it will consider its alternatives should a bona fide competing alternative transaction materialise.

BHP chief development officer Johan van Jaarsveld said on Tuesday that the group remained confident in its offer.

“Despite their latest press release, Wyloo has not made a formal offer and the BHP offer is the only transaction currently available to Noront shareholders,” he said, stressing that Wyloo’s support was not required for BHP’s offer to be successful.

For BHP’s C$0.55-a-share offer to be successful, more than 50% of the outstanding shares not wholly owned or controlled by BHP must be deposited under the offer. The group said that it would be able to achieve the minimum tender condition, even if Wyloo did not tender its shares.

Wyloo, owned by Australian iron-ore billionaire Andrew Forrest, has a 37.5% shareholding (partially diluted) in Noront.

On Monday, Forrest proposed that Noront shareholders either hold on to their stock and participate in the future that he would create for the junior or to opt for a proposed C$0.70-a-share in cash.

Meanwhile, Noront and BHP confirmed that Wyloo had been offered a confidentiality agreement, without the customary standstill provision.

“Noront appreciates BHP agreeing to waive its strict contractual rights in the interests of the shareholders of Noront,” CEO Alan Coutts commented in a statement.

Wyloo previously said that the standstill clause would have prevented it from making its initial and subsequent offers directly to shareholders The standstill clause also would have adversely restricted Wyloo's rights as an existing shareholder, including by prohibiting it from proposing alternative nominations to Noront’s board of directors.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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