New York, United States — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 April 2011 – Barrick Gold Corporation says it has struck a deal to buy Australian copper miner Equinox Minerals for more than US$7.3 billion, topping a takeover offer by China’s Minmetals Resources by 16%.
Already the world’s largest gold miner, Barrick is looking to bolster its position in copper, a primary industrial metal, while prices are near record highs.
Toronto-based Barrick said in a statement here that Equinox had agreed to be acquired for C$8.15 a share, an 8.7% premium over the company’s Thursday closing price. According to Reuters data, Equinox has about 879.5 million listed shares, which would make the deal worth nearly C$7.2 billion (USD$7.55 billion).
Minmetals earlier this month offered to buy Equinox for C$7 a share, but the Australian copper miner called that proposal a low-ball bid. Equinox said it believed the Barrick bid was superior in terms of price and likelihood of completion.
Barrick said its agreement for Equinox prevented the Australian miner from soliciting superior bids and gave Barrick the right to match any higher offers. Equinox would have to pay Barrick C$250 million (US$262 million) to walk away from the deal, even if it accepted a higher bid.
Barrick chief executive Aaron Regent said the deal would improve the company’s copper exposure in a strong price environment for the metal.
As part of its agreement to be bought by Barrick, Equinox agreed to pull its unsolicited bid for Lundin Mining. Equinox had been trying to take over its rival copper miner since February, but conceded that its own shareholders would not likely have supported the deal.