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Andrew Forrest. Source: Reuters
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  • BHP increases its bid for Canadian-listed nickel miner Noront Resources, extending the bidding war between the former and Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals
  • Yesterday, Noront Resources agreed to be acquired by Wyloo Metals in a transaction that trumped rival BHP Group
  • Noront Resources is focused on the development of its high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit in the Ring of Fire in Ontario
  • Wyloo plans to develop Eagle’s Nest mine as a net-zero emissions operation while committing C$25 million (A$27 million) to battery mineral production feasibility studies

BHP has increased its bid for Canadian-listed nickel miner Noront Resources, extending the bidding war between the former and Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals.

Yesterday, Noront Resources agreed to be acquired by Tattarang’s Wyloo Metals in a transaction that trumped rival BHP Group.

Under the deal, Wyloo Metals would acquire all the common shares of Noront that the company does not currently own for C$0.70 in cash, pursuant to a statutory plan of arrangement.

BHP Lonsdale Investments responded a day later, upping their bid to C$0.75 per share,

The Wyloo offer’s cash consideration of C$0.70 per share is a 192 per cent premium to Noront’s unaltered closing price on May 21, 2021.

Under Wyloo’s previously “superior”, Dr Forrest would lead a “world-class” board of directors to “deliver Noront’s true potential to its shareholders”.

The beefed-up BHP offer is a 36 per cent premium to its previous offer, a seven per cent premium to the Wyloo offer and a 213 per cent premium to Noront’s unaffected price.

The Noront board is considering the “superior” $C0.75 per share cash purchase price from BHP above Wyloo’s offer.

Noront CEO Alan Coutts said the BHP offer “deliveries certainty of value” and is in “the best interests of the company and its shareholders”.

The BHP deal does not require Wyloo’s approval in order for the offer to be successful. To get the C$0.75 all-cash offer price for their Noront shares, at least 50 per cent of the shares not owned by BHP must be offered.

“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 Resources is focused on the development of its high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit, as well as chromite deposits such as Blackbird, Black Thor, and Big Daddy. All deposits are located in Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands in the Ring of Fire emerging metals camp.

“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,” Mr van Jaarsveld said.

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