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Australia’s mega new copper IPO

copper IPO

Copper miner Metals Acquisition Limited is set to become one of the largest ASX entrants in recent years, buoyed by a $325 million initial public offering (IPO).

The company is already listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), meaning it will list on the ASX through the quotation of CHESS depositary interests (CDIs).

The IPO will be priced at $17 per CDI – at the top end of the indicative price range – equating to a market capitalisation of $1.15 billion. Metals Acquisition was trading at $US12 ($18.41) per share on the NYSE at close on Friday, equating to a market cap of just over $US634 million ($972.48 million).

With the IPO expected to settle on February 14, the CDIs would then be issued on February 15, before they begin trading on the ASX on February 20 under the ticker “MAC”.

Metals Acquisition said it would use the funds from the IPO to repay a deferred consideration facility connected to its acquisition of the CSA copper mine near Cobar, New South Wales.

The company will also use the funds to support CSA’s mine development and exploration.

Metals Acquisition chair Patrice Merrin said the IPO adds “significance balance sheet flexibility” to the company. These sentiments were shared by MAC chief executive officer Mick McMullen.

“Owning and operating an Australian copper mine we have long felt it was logical to dual list MAC on the ASX and I echo the chair’s comments and thank all the people involved in this effort to bring a quality and unique offering to the ASX,” he said.

The size of the IPO is a feather in the cap of Metals Acquisition, which recently lost the race to acquire the Northparkes copper-gold mine in NSW, with Evolution Mining purchasing China Molybdenum Company’s 80 per cent stake in the mine.

Metals Acquisition has aspirations to emulate OZ Minerals and become a prominent multi-asset copper player in Australia.

For the moment though, the company is focused on unlocking CSA.

“There are very few similar grade mines available for investors to directly participate in that are also located in Tier-1 jurisdictions,” McMullen said about the CSA mine in August 2023.

“The mine has been out of the public domain for 24 years and these type of drill results are a testament of MAC’s rationale for acquiring the operation.”

Recent drill results at CSA have returned grades as high as 14.4 per cent copper across 20.7m. Other significant results include 25.5m at 12.7 per cent copper and 28.7m at 10.6 per cent copper.

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