An overwhelming majority of OZ Minerals' (ASX: OZL) shareholders have voted in favour of BHP Group’s (ASX: BHP) $9.6 billion takeover offer today, bringing the latter’s vision of a unified South Australian ‘copper basin’ one step closer to reality.
Around 98 per cent of OZ Minerals’ shareholders were in favour of the $28.25 per share proposal, which comprises $26.50 in cash from BHP and a $1.75 special dividend paid to OZL investors.
The approval from shareholders comes eight months after BHP’s initial $8.3 billion bid was rejected by the Adelaide-based copper and nickel producer on the basis it undervalued the company. Upon receiving a revised proposal three months later, which reflected a 13 per cent premium to the original offer of $25 per share, the directors of OZ Minerals unanimously recommended the new deal.
OZ Minerals has two South Australian copper and gold operations in Prominent Hill and Carrapateena, both of which sit in close proximity to the suitor’s major Olympic Dam mine - the planet’s fourth-largest copper deposit and the largest deposit of uranium in the world.
“Today’s strong endorsement from our shareholders enables the next chapter for OZ Minerals as we will become part of a major global mining company which values our strategy of creating value for stakeholders, enabled by our agile culture of inclusion, innovation and collaboration, as well as our portfolio of modern minerals operating assets and our pipeline of growth opportunities,” OZ Minerals chairman Rebecca McGrath and CEO Andrew Cole said.
If the deal successfully goes through, OZ Minerals’ managing director and CEO Andrew Cole will receive a cash payment of approximately $6 million in relation to his entitlements under the company’s incentive plans.
“Independent expert, Grant Samuel, has concluded that the scheme is fair and reasonable and therefore is in the best interests of OZ Minerals Shareholders, in the absence of a superior proposal,” McGrath said in the scheme meeting.
“Grant Samuel has assessed OZ Minerals’ full underlying value at between $27.37 and $30.47 per OZ Minerals Share.
“The scheme consideration of $28.25 per OZ Minerals Share is within this valuation range. I can confirm that no competing proposal has been received in the time since the scheme was announced, and OZ Minerals is not in discussions with any other interested parties.”
The final regulatory hurdle involves approval from the Federal Court of Australia, which is scheduled to make a ruling on 17 April. If the deal is approved, OZ Minerals will suspend its shares the following day.
Shares in OZL are up 0.7 per cent at $28.17 at 3:03pm AEST.
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