Melbourne: Equinox extended its $4.8 billion bid for Lundin Mining and postponed a vote on the deal by two weeks on Tuesday, awaiting a formal $6.5 billion takeover offer from China’s Minmetals Resources.
Minmetals, China’s biggest metals trading firm, unveiled plans to launch a C$7 a share bid for Equinox on Monday, chasing Equinox’s copper assets in Zambia and Saudi Arabia.
Equinox said it was considering the proposal and would update investors on it “in the coming days”.
It postponed a shareholder vote on the Lundin deal to 26 April to give investors time to consider the board’s and any other recommendations on Minmetals’ C$7 a share offer and the Lundin deal before they have to vote.
Equinox’s Toronto-listed shares closed up 32% at C$7.55 on Monday, indicating investors are holding out for a higher bid.
The jump in Equinox’s shares bolstered the value of its offer for Lundin to C$8.92 a share, but also made it less likely that Equinox would go ahead with its bid.
Equinox has been chasing Lundin for its Neves Corvo copper-zinc mine in Portugal and its 24.75% stake in the massive Tenke Fungurume copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lundin rejected Equinox’s offer and last week flagged it was looking for a white knight or knights to trump Equinox.
With Equinox receiving the unsolicited bid from Minmetals, investors trimmed their bets on a takeover battle erupting for Lundin, sending Lundin’s shares down 4% to C$8 on Monday, well below the value of Equinox’s offer.