China Minmetals has made a revised takeover bid for Australia’s OZ Minerals, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The initial US$1.83 billion deal was blocked by the Australian government, as one of the assets – OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine – is located in a military zone. According to a statement released Tuesday by the Melbourne-based firm, the Chinese side has submitted a restructured bid that does not include Prominent Hill, the Martabe gold project in Indonesia and listed investments, including one in uranium exporter Toro Energy. No value was given for the new bid, but OZ Minerals said it would “provide a complete solution to [the company’s] refinancing issues.” This suggests the bid is sufficient to cover the US$880 million in debt OZ Minerals was due to repay today unless awarded an extension by its bankers. A third-party buyer – possibly BHP Billiton – could take Prominent Hill, which is OZ Minerals’ most valuable asset.
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