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BHP and OZ Minerals racing to get deal done

Friday, December 16th, 2022

OZ Minerals eceived board approval to develop its West Musgrave copper-nickel project, which is set to generate almost $10 billion.

The miners are working hard to finalise their $9.6 billion takeover deal before the end of the year.

When BHP finally landed its long-desired target last month, it was granted four weeks to conduct due diligence, starting Monday November 21.

With that timeline set to come to an end next Monday (December 19), people in the industry are reportedly questioning whether all of the necessary boxes will be ticked in time.

It should be noted that BHP can receive a one-week extension (until December 26) if it re-confirms its $28.25-per-share offer and promises it is still working to get the deal done.

According to reports in the Australian Financial Review, BHP is understood to have worked through most of the diligence items, “including site visits, management presentations and the like”.

“And there’s no noise out of either camp that the Big Australian found anything untoward in the first (three and a half) weeks of its four-week stay,” the AFR reported.

The issue, however, may be one of timing and having everything finalised and documented ahead of the Christmas break, “in a week when corporate Australia’s likely to grind to a halt and given recent hiccups around material adverse changes, reverse break-fees and the like”.

BHP’s efforts to acquire OZ Minerals, along with its considerable portfolio of future-facing resources, first started with an unsolicited $25-per-share ($8.4 billion) bid in August. When OZ quickly rejected that deal, BHP indicated it was a fair offer and that it was unlikely to return to the negotiation table.

But industry experts continued to speculate that BHP’s desire for resources like copper and nickel would bring it back to the deal, and that belief proved correct when the two sides resumed talks in November and BHP upped its offer to $9.6 billion.

The final offer of $28.25-per-share offer represents a 49 per cent premium on OZ Minerals’ stock price prior to BHP’s initial bid in August.

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