Corpus Christi, Texas: Grupo Mexico SAB raised its offer for bankrupt copper miner Asarco Llc. to $2.2 billion (Rs10,714 crore) in cash, a move it says guarantees full payment for creditors and makes a vote on a competing proposal unnecessary.
The Mexico City-based mining company announced the offer Tuesday morning in the US bankruptcy court in Corpus Christi, Texas, where it is trying to persuade a judge to give it back control of Asarco. The new payment means that any creditor votes against Grupo Mexico no longer need to be considered by the judge when he rules before an 31 August deadline, the company said.
“The music is stopping and there is only one chair left and we are going to sit down,” Robert Moore, an attorney for Grupo Mexico’s main holding unit in the US, told US bankruptcy judge Richard Schmidt on Tuesday.
Should its offer be accepted by the court, Grupo Mexico would avoid paying a judgement handed down in a related fraudulent transfer case estimated to be worth as much as $2.94 billion. Asarco’s court-appointed board of directors planned to meet in the evening to discuss Grupo Mexico’s offer, said board member H. Malcolm Lovett Jr.
Asarco chief executive officer Joe Lapinski declined to comment on the new Grupo Mexico plan.
Grupo Mexico had offered creditors as much as $1.72 billion in cash, plus a note for $280 million. The new plan still includes the note. A rival proposal sponsored by Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd would pay creditors $1.59 billion in cash and a $770 million note. That offer expires after 31 August.
Under the Sterlite plan, creditors may also collect money from the judgement against Grupo Mexico. The Grupo Mexico plan would limit any payments related to the judgement.
Schmidt told Grupo Mexico attorneys that he would give Asarco the chance to challenge the claim that the new plan pays creditors in full and therefore the voting is irrelevant.