BHP has commenced discussions with Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals as the two attempt to come to a mutually beneficial agreement regarding the Noront Resources takeover.
The two companies have been going back and forth with their Noront takeover bids since May.
Wyloo initially offered $C0.315 ($0.34) per share for Noront, which was followed by BHP’s $C0.55 per share all-cash bid worth $C325 million for the Canadian nickel producer in July.
In August, Wyloo ramped up its bid with a significantly upgraded offer of $C0.70 per share for the target.
After initially considering Wyloo’s $C0.70 per share bid non-binding, BHP acknowledged Forrest’s company had made a superior bid and increased its all-cash offer to $C0.75 per share in October.
“Our increased offer of $C0.75 per share provides a compelling premium for Noront shareholders and is available to shareholders now,” BHP chief development officer Johan van Jaarsveld said at the time.
“Our offer provides shareholders with the value inherent in Noront’s portfolio of projects, including the Eagle’s Nest project, delivering shareholders who accept our offer certainty of value and immediate liquidity.”
Noront’s Eagle’s Nest nickel project, located in Canada’s Ring of Fire, is considered a highly prospective area for mineral exploration.
BHP has stated it and Wyloo were currently in talks regarding the latter’s support of BHP’s $C0.75 per share offer for Noront.
“BHP and Wyloo Metals have engaged in initial conversations and are considering a mutually beneficial arrangement regarding the acquisition of Noront by BHP,” BHP said in a statement.
To accommodate the discussions, BHP has extended the initial expiry of its offer from 11:59pm Toronto time on November 9 to 7pm Toronto time on November 16.
For this, BHP encourages shareholders to tender to its $C0.75 per share bid ahead of the deadline.