Investors score as Metorex battle heats up

[] — SHARES in Metorex Ltd climbed 5% at the time of writing, edging towards R8/share, but they could go higher.

I learned on Wednesday the copper producer had received a unsolicited R9/share rival offer to the R7.35 per share cash offer from Vale – speculation I put to Terence Goodlace, Metorex CEO. He replied: “I know of no such offer. If there were an offer I would have to alert Vale’.

Said a stockbroker who, for obvious reasons, can’t be named: “We have heard Metorex might be able to get an R8/share.’

The substance of the cautionary announcement from Metorex this morning suggests exactly that, a rival offer is in the making which Goodlace has had to convey to Vale. Miningmx colleague, Brendan Ryan, has speculated the rival bid could come from Jinchuan Mining. I’ve also heard it’s Chinese interest but that “nothing is solid yet”.

As needs to be made clear, additional interest in Metorex is unsolicited, but it will certainly appeal to shareholders given that the sale of its Sable asset to Glencore of some R225m, including R35m in debt, added at least 20 cents per share to Metorex’s value post Vale’s offer.

“The recent comment on Bloomberg Finance that Metorex received support for the Vale offer from the Industrial Development Corporation, supports the likely success of the bid,’ a stockbroker said.

“We believe that over 40% of shareholders are now in support. We think that the Vale offer is likely to be successful unless another bidder emerges before completion of the deal,’ it said.

That seems to have happened.