ENRC founders set to make lower offer

Marion Dakers
THE FOUNDERS of ENRC are set to make a £3bn bid to take the embattled miner private today, valuing the firm at slightly less than their indicative offer two months ago.

The consortium of bidders confirmed yesterday that they are “in the advanced stages” of putting together a firm offer ahead of the latest Takeover Panel deadline of 5pm today. They added that the offer of $2.65 plus 0.23 Kazakhmys shares per ENRC share is less valuable than it was in mid-May due to the fall in both mining stocks and the dollar.

Based on Friday’s prices, the proposal values ENRC shares at around 234.3p, compared to a closing price last week of 216.9p.

The bidders – led by ENRC founders Alexander Machkevitch, Alijan Ibragimov and Patokh Chodiev – said the offer depends on Kazakhmys agreeing to sell its 26 per cent stake.

FTSE 100-listed Kazakhmys, which is not part of the bidding group but whose consortium-owned shares would be used in the deal, declined to comment on its intentions yesterday.

The consortium already controls 53.9 per cent of ENRC’s shares.

A spokesperson for ENRC’s independent board members, who are examining the consortium’s offer, declined to comment on the bid yesterday.

The directors rejected the deal in May, when it was worth around 260p per share, claiming it “materially undervalues” the company.

Analysts at Macquarie said on Friday there as “not much room for improvement” in the offer given the consortium’s strong negotiating position as majority shareholder.