Minority partner looks to block sale of Canadian diamond mine

City A.M. Reporter
HARRY Winston Diamond’s plan to buy BHP Billiton’s Ekati diamond operations in Northern Canada hit a snag yesterday, with a minority partner filing a lawsuit to try to block the deal.

C Fipke Holdings, which has a right of first refusal on the sale, is alleging that BHP Billiton failed to comply with their joint venture agreement, in an legal action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Fipke is seeking a court order to stop the sale, unless provided with a revised offer from BHP, Harry Winston said.

BHP agreed in November to sell its Ekati operations to Harry Winston for $500m (£312m). The smaller company said it would fund the cash deal through existing resources and debt, including a $400m term loan and a $100m revolving credit facility.