ENRC’s bidders to get time to sort out offer

Marion Dakers
THE CONSORTIUM bidding for mining group ENRC will find out today how much longer they have to put together a formal takeover offer.

The group, which includes ENRC’s three founding billionaires and the Kazakh government, on Friday asked the Takeover Panel for a further three weeks beyond today’s 5pm deadline.

The complex task of bringing the various investors into a single bidding vehicle is understood to be behind the extension request.

The bidders are believed to have asked for three weeks when they were granted an extension in mid-May, but were only given 14 days.

The Takeover Panel did not respond to a request for comment yesterday, while spokespeople for ENRC and the consortium declined to comment.

FTSE 100-listed ENRC will face its minority shareholders at its annual meeting in London on Wednesday.

Some investors remain worried they will be forced to accept a low-ball offer, despite ENRC’s independent directors rejecting an indicative $5bn offer from the consortium, which controls 56 per cent of ENRC’s equity.

The meeting will also give small shareholders the chance to voice concerns about an ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation, as well as the string of boardroom departures since last year’s AGM.