Mining giant BHP Group finalizes $6.4 bln offer for OZ Minerals

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Mining giant BHP Group finalizes $6.4 bln offer for OZ Minerals
Credit: © Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick BHP Group (ASX: BHP ) made a binding offer to acquire Australian copper miner OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL ) for A$9.6 billion ($1= A$0.6711) on Thursday, putting the fate of the long-standing deal in the hands of the latter’s shareholders.

In a Scheme Implementation Deed filed with the Australian Securities Exchange, BHP said that OZ shareholders will now vote on the deal by late-March to early April. The OZ board had last month accepted BHP’s offer, and recommended it to shareholders. 

The deal is also subject to regulatory approvals in Australia, Brazil, and Vietnam. 

After being rejected in its first approach to OZ earlier this year, BHP made a higher cash offer of A$28.25 per share in November, as it looks to enlarge its interests in copper and nickel mining.

The move comes as BHP pivots further away from fossil fuels and into what it sees as a future of clean energy. 

Copper and nickel are integral parts of clean energy infrastructure, and have seen increased demand in recent years amid the growing popularity of electric cars and renewable energy. 

The deal will position BHP as one of the largest copper producers in the world, with the world’s largest miner forecasting a spike in demand for the red metal in the coming years.

OZ Mineral holds projects close to BHP’s Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, which is also why the Anglo-Australian miner is seeking to integrate the firm into its holdings.

BHP plans to fund the deal through a mix of cash and by taking on new debt. 

The deal is the largest mining deal in Australia since BHP’s purchase of Petrohawk Energy Corp in 2011 for $12.1 billion. 

But BHP has since then sold all of its oil and gas assets to Woodside Energy (ASX: WDS ), and has also trimmed the size of its coal businesses. The mining giant also expects demand for its key iron ore exports to plateau in the coming years. 

Shares of BHP and OZ Minerals were trading slightly higher in early trade.


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