MANILA, Philippines—DMCI Holdings is leading a consortium that plans to take over UK-listed nickel production company ENK Plc, which is developing the Acoje mining project in Zambales, in a deal that values the British company at £49.8 million.
DMCI disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it would spend up to £31 million for this bid, representing about 62 percent of the valuation for the total company. The remainder will be taken up by its partner, the UK-based D&A Income Ltd.
The DMCI-D&A consortium has received commitment from key shareholders to sell shares equivalent to 45.5 percent of ENK. The consortium has made an offer to acquire the remaining shares for cash, according to disclosures in the UK.
Under the terms of the offer, ENK shareholders will be paid 19 pence in cash for each share, a premium of about 38.2 percent to the closing price on July 26 when ENK first disclosed in the UK that it had received an offer from a prospective buyer.
DMCI and D&A are advised by boutique investment banking firm Evercore Partners.
“We are very pleased to have reached agreement with D&A and the independent directors in relation to the offer, which we believe to be in the best interests of the company, its employees, customers and shareholders. The offer gives ENK shareholders the opportunity to crystallize their investment at a significant premium to the undisturbed market price,” DMCI president Isidro Consunji said in a disclosure filed by ENK in London.
The independent directors of ENK, upon advice by Endeavour Financial, intend to recommend acceptance of the DMCI-D&A offer, citing the absence of a superior proposal and taking into account commercial assessments.
D&A is an investment company, owned by a trust of which the principal beneficiary is Graham Edwards, chief executive of Telereal Trillium, one of the UK’s largest property companies.
Recently, DMCI president Isidro Consunji told reporters on the sidelines of DMCI’s annual stockholders meeting that the conglomerate was looking to buy into several nickel mines.
According to its Web site, ENK is a nickel laterite development and production company focused on developing its Acoje project in the Philippines. ENK has developed a tank leaching technology to remove nickel from ore which it describes as “cost-effective, commercially viable and environmentally sensitive.”
The principal property of ENK is the Acoje nickel laterite project in Luzon covering about 3,765 hectares. The deposit has an indicated resource of 50.14 million tons grading 1.08 percent nickel and 0.05 percent cobalt. In addition, ENK owns 40 percent of the Zambales Chromite deposit, which it is developing in partnership with Montenima Resources Corp.
ENK was incorporated in England and Wales in June 2000 and listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM in 2004, on PLUS Derivatives Exchange in 2007 and on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2010.
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