ENRC offer had valued the firm at only £3.3bn

Marion Dakers
THE BILLIONAIRES bidding for FTSE 100-listed mining group ENRC gave the firm a tentative price tag of £3.3bn, which the board rejected as a low-ball offer, the suitors said in a statement over the weekend.

The consortium of shareholders pursuing ENRC had offered 175p per share plus 0.231 of a Kazakhmys share to take over the firm.

The package valued the group at around 253p per share, below last week’s closing price of 271.6p but above the value before the bid interest emerged of around 230p.

After Friday’s rejection, the consortium has until 3 June to bid again.

ENRC’s co-founders Alexander Mashkevitch, Alijan Ibragimov and Patokh Chodiev said last month they were weighing up a buyout of the miner’s minority investors.

As ENRC faces the prospect of leaving the FTSE, politicians are looking again at the rules that allowed it to join the London market.

Adrian Bailey – chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills committee – will this week announce an inquiry into governance issues at firms listing in the UK.

Bailey said he would expect ENRC and Bumi to give evidence.

The UK Listing Authority is also reportedly planning to tighten the entry rules this summer.

The Institute of Directors warned that the changes “would... send a negative signal to international companies with committed family shareholders and strong growth prospects”.