A consortium led by state-owned China Minmetals Corp appears to have beaten at least three other bidders to secure a takeover of Canadian miner Noranda, the South China Morning Post reported. An agent for Minmetals confirmed to the paper that an "exclusivity agreement" had been struck and the due diligence process had begun. "Other offers were a mixture of cash and equity, but what we offered is all cash. None of them could match us on this," the source told the Post. Sources in the banking industry told the paper that four state-owned companies – Baoshan Iron & Steel, Citic Investment Corp, Jiangxi Copper and Taiyuan Iron & Steel – were backing Minmetals' bid for Noranda, said to be worth between US$4.2 billion and US$5 billion.