Minmetals offers $6.5bn for Equinox as seeks copper boost

City A.M. Reporter
MINMETALS Resources, China’s biggest metals trading firm, yesterday offered $6.5bn (£4.20bn) to buy Equinox Minerals, chasing the target company’s copper assets in Zambia and Saudi Arabia.

China, which accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s demand for copper, is on a mining acquisition spree as prices for the red metal hover near record highs.

Minmetals, which owns mining operations in Australia and Asia, said it would offer C$7 per share for Equinox, a 23 per cent premium to Equinox’s close in Toronto last Friday of C$5.71. It would be China’s fourth-biggest outbound M&A deal.

Equinox’s Australian shares surged 29 per cent to a record A$7.35, topping the value of the Minmetals’ offer on expectations a rival bid may emerge. Minmetals’ shares rose 2.4 per cent to HK$6.72.

Chief executive Andrew Michelmore said the Equinox offer was Minmetals’ best price, adding he was not considering increasing it.

The offer is conditional on Equinox dropping its C$4.7bn bid for Canada’s Lundin Mining, which has been the subject of a separate takeover tussle between Equinox and Inmet Mining.