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Mining Weekly 52/’12: Copper Wars continued, South African taxes

December 24, 2012 Comments off

Top Stories:

  • Copper Wars: First Quantum raises takeover bid for Inmet
    • Almost 2 years after the consolidation in the copper mining industry was accelerated by the proposed merger of Lundin and Inmet, First Quantum is trying to take over Inmet to form a major copper producer. Inmet’s board rejected two earlier, lower bids, and is now facing a $5.1bn takover offer.
    • The proposed Lundin-Inmet (Symterra) merger did not materialize because Equinox made a takeover bid for Lundin, after which Equinox was acquired by Barrick, which ‘won’ a bidding war with Minmetals.
    • In attempts to get the Cobre Panama project funded Inmet earlier this year sold a stream with most of the planned precious metals production to royalty company Franco Nevada for an investment of approx. $1bn.
    • Sources: Wall Street Journal; Financial Times; Newsday

    Copper Wars - Inmet - First Quantum

  • ANC will not nationalize South African mines, but wants to increase taxes
    • The ruling ANC party has turned down a plan to nationalize the mining sector in the country. At the same time the party leaders do call for increased taxes to keep a larger part of the benefits from natural resource extraction in the country. No details on the tax increases have been given yet.
    • Sources: The Globe and Mail; Wall Street Journal; Financial Times

Trends & Implications:

  • The copper industry is in a phase of consolidation because many large development projects are in the hands of relatively small miners who don’t have the funds to develop the large projects on their own. With project pipelines being scrutinized in the light of slowing demand growth, large miners are searching for and buying those projects that are actually going to make it, and small miners with and without good development projects try to team up to combine operating assets with strong development projects.
  • South Africa is already one of the countries with the highest effective tax rates to mining companies in the world, combining a 28% income tax rate with a 10% secondary tax, and adding mining royalties depending on the mineral mined. Further tax increases will make it very unlikely that foreign companies try to enter into the South African mining landscape, but will also make it more attractive for the large South African players to try to expand abroad.

2012 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com

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Lundin and Inmet abandon proposed merger

March 30, 2011 Comments off

“Lundin Mining Corporation and Inmet Mining Corporation jointly announced today that they have terminated the arrangement agreement dated January 12, 2011 between them in accordance with its terms.

As a result, the formerly announced Special Meetings of Shareholders of both Inmet and Lundin Mining, scheduled for April 4, 2011, are cancelled. The parties have agreed that Inmet’s right to a break fee of $120 million, in accordance with the arrangement agreement, will be preserved in connection with the unsolicited offer of Equinox Minerals Limited to acquire Lundin Mining.”

Source: Inmet Press Release, March 30 2011

Observations:

  • Continuation of the merger became highly unlikely after the government of Panama did not give permission to coal-fire the power plant for Inmet’s flagship Cobre Panama project. Any alternative source of power will reduce project value by over 10%, causing a material change to the proposed merger agreement. Still Inmet will receive $120mln because the breakup is attributed to the Equinox offer.
  • Lundin advised its shareholders to reject the competing offer by Equinox last week. Key arguments mentioned in the explaining circular are: inadequate pricing; high leverage of resulting company; potential shortage of cash for investments; and increased geo-political risk. However, mr. Lundin commented that he would be willing to sell a an adequate price.

Implications:

  • Equinox refers in its circular to a 64% premium paid since 2004 in large mining takeovers. This reference could be seen as a counterbid to the 26% pre-announcement premium of Equinox’ offer. Increasing the premium to approx. 40% (to $9.00/share) will convince most shareholders to tender their shares if the financial risk can be sufficiently covered.
  • No competing bidders for Lundin have emerged and Lundin does not report looking for alternatives at this moment. As Equinox is stretching its financial capacity with this deal, a competing bidder might be able to take over Lundin by offering only slightly more than a potential sweetened Equinox bid.

©2011 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com

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