BHP ups the ante in Noront battle

20th October 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

BHP ups the ante in Noront battle

Photo by: Bloomberg

PERTH ( – Diversified major BHP has increased its all-cash offer for Canadian nickel developer Noront Resources to C$0.75c a share, overtaking fellow suitor Wyloo Metals’ C$0.70-a-share cash offer.

Australian company Wyloo Metals earlier this week settled the terms of a C$0.70-a-share offer for Noront, with BHP given five days to match the offer.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, BHP and Noront said that the new all-cash offer represented a 36% premium to its previous C$0.55-a-share offer, and a 7% premium to Wyloo’s latest offer, as well as a 213% premium to Noront’s unaffected price.

The Noront board has determined that the Wyloo offer is no longer a "superior proposal" and has recommended that shareholders accept the new offer from BHP.

“Our increased offer of C$0.75 per share provides a compelling premium for Noront shareholders and is available to shareholders now. Our offer provides shareholders with the value inherent in Noront’s portfolio of projects, including the Eagle’s Nest project, delivering shareholders who accept our offer certainty of value and immediate liquidity,” BHP chief development officer Johan van Jaarsveld said.

Noront has been developing one of Canada’s largest potential mineral reserves, in a largely untapped northern Ontario region dubbed the Ring of Fire. BHP on Wednesday said that it would take "many years" to deliver on Noront’s portfolio of projects, and that it would require "significant capital invesment, development of remote infrastructure, and management of numerous stakeholders".

“There is no certainty that shareholders remaining invested in Noront will ever realise the value for their shares offered by BHP in cash today.

“Noront and BHP believe that the offer provides Noront shareholders with the value inherent in Noront’s portfolio of projects without the long-term risks associated with the development and execution of those projects,” Noront CEO Alan Coutts said.

“This transaction provides a premium to Wyloo’s offer, and delivers certainty of value to Noront shareholders via an all-cash offer. Noront’s board of directors determined that BHP’s improved offer is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders and recommends Noront shareholders tender their shares to the BHP offer.”

BHP also told shareholders that its offer for Noront would not require Wyloo support to succeed, with the offer having a 50% minimum acceptance condition.

“Now is the time for shareholders to decide if they want to tender to our improved offer and crystallize the compelling and full value it represents,” said Van Jaarsveld.