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Wyloo Metals makes formal bid for Noront

Australian miner formalizes proposal at 70 cents per share
Noront Esker Camp 10

Wyloo Metals has made a formal bid to acquire Noront Resources and the company’s interests in the Ring of Fire.

The Australian miner said it submitted its official proposal to Noront on Sept. 3.

According to the bid, Wyloo is offering 70 cents per share of Noront, a deal it calls “superior” to that of its rival bidder, BHP, which is offering 55 cents per share.

That’s a marked increase from the offer of 32.5 cents per share Wyloo was prepared to offer last spring.

This is the latest development in the ongoing back-and-forth between the two parties, which are competing to win Noront’s Eagle’s Nest property.

Located 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in the James Bay region, the area is rich in nickel, copper and platinum group metals, all significant to the manufacture of batteries for the electric vehicle market.

Wyloo submitted its first, $133-million proposal in May, but it was rejected by Noront, because Wyloo declined to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Wyloo argued that the inclusion of a ‘standstill agreement’ – a clause that dictates how a deal can be rolled out – prevented it from doing its due diligence on Noront in order to prepare an adequate takeover bid.

BHP made its own $325-million offer in July and signed the confidentiality agreement.

Noront has since removed the standstill provision from the process. But Wyloo is now calling for the company to disclose full details of any benefits shareholders would gain in voting for the BHP offer.

“As we have shown from day one of this process, Wyloo Metals is fully committed to working quickly and collaboratively to formalize a binding superior proposal for the benefit of Noront shareholders,” said Luca Giacovazzi, head of Wyloo, in a Sept. 6 news release.

“However, we cannot allow our proposal to be subject to inappropriate restrictions from the Noront board, particularly given that our proposal calls for the board’s replacement.”