Friday 4 April 2014

Aussie scoop: Evolution Mining said to be in talks to buy OZ Minerals for AUS$1.6bn

I've got an Australian deal exclusive for Betaville readers that like to keep an eye on things happening down under. 

Top sources down under tell me Evolution Mining, a listed Australian gold and silver mining company, has been holding advanced talks with OZ Minerals about buying the business for AUS$1.6 billion.   

I understand Evolution Mining has offered AUS$4.65 a share in cash for OZ Minerals, which is also listed on the Australian stock exchange, and a deal may be announced to the Aussie market as early as next week.    

The geographical fit is obvious as Evolution Mining has five mines in Queensland and Western Australia while OZ's copper-gold mining projects are primarily based in Southern Australia.  

I have asked both OZ Minerals and Evolution Mining for comment and I am waiting to hear back from their respective representatives. If and when I do hear back, I will add their comments into the story. 

Some readers may be aware that I have written about OZ Minerals before. While working for the Mail on Sunday's business section last year, I broke a story about how London-listed mining giant Glencore Xstrata had been building a stake in OZ Minerals. 

OZ Minerals put out a denial statement to my piece, saying "it has not received a substantial shareholder notice from Glencore Xstrata nor has OZ Minerals been approached by Glencore Xstrata in regard to any proposal". 

I got a lot of stick for that story but I still stand by the piece I published in the Mail on Sunday

Indeed, a few months after the Glencore Xstrata story in the Mail on Sunday, the chief executive of OZ Minerals said that major copper producers have been involved in "early stage discussions" about purchasing a stake in OZ Minerals's Carrapateena project in South Australia. 

David Coates, a Sydney-based analyst at CIMB Group Holdings then told Bloomberg that Trafigura Beheer, First Quantum Minerals and, err, Glencore Xstrata are likely to be the companies interested in acquiring a holding in OZ Minerals's Carrapateena project. Fancy that. 

So, I wonder whether Glencore Xstrata will allow this cosy Aussie merger deal to happen? Over to you, Ivan. 


  1. Ben, EVN@AU is capped at $618m and has about $120m of debt - also a gold miner. OZL is capped at $1.15bn and has about $300m of net cash - and is a copper miner. Apart from the absence of a rationale for the deal, Newcrest is a 32% shareholder in EVN and on credit watch negative for a cut to junk. How on earth would EVN fund it? This sounds utterly, utterly nuts.

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