07/12/2020 - 15:59

MACA, IGO weigh potential deals

07/12/2020 - 15:59

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Perth-based contractor MACA is in talks to buy Downer’s mining services division, while IGO is reportedly considering a $2 billion deal with China’s Tianqi Lithium Corporation.

The Greenbushes mine in WA is controlled by Talison Lithium, which is 51 per cent owned by Tianqi Lithium Corporation.

Perth-based contractor MACA is in talks to buy Downer’s mining services division, while IGO is reportedly considering a $2 billion deal with China’s Tianqi Lithium Corporation.

MACA emerged as a potential buyer for Downer EDI’s Open Cut Mining West division this morning when it confirmed it was giving consideration to the purchase.

“The process is ongoing and MACA would only pursue a binding offer to acquire the business if it were to align with its strategy and deliver value for the company’s shareholders,” MACA said.

Downer has been looking to sell Mining West since August last year, having hired Macquarie Capital to complete the sale.

Fellow ASX-listed contractor Perenti was previously a frontrunner for the purchase; though, it was understood it could not reach an agreed sale price with Downer.

Perenti also dismissed reports that it had offered to pay $700 million for Mining West.

NSW-based Downer has already sold its blasting services and mining consulting businesses, as well as its share in the RTL Mining and Earthworks joint venture.

Today, Downer said it was in discussions “with a number of interest parties” in relation to the rest of its mining portfolio, including with MACA.

“However, there is no certainty that a sale will result from these discussions,” Downer said.

Meanwhile, nickel miner IGO has entered into a trading halt in relation to “a potential material acquisition”.

IGO is reportedly considering the purchase of 25 per cent of Tianqi’s stake in the Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia, with the deal expected to be worth about $2 billion.

The Greenbushes mine is controlled by Talison Lithium, which is 51 per cent owned by Tianqi.

The Chinese producer had placed some of its assets on the market earlier this year after admitting to liquidity problems as a result of low lithium prices, along with a major blow-out in the cost of building its refinery in Kwinana.

It is understood IGO’s acquisition will be funded by a major capital raising, led by Citi and Macquarie Capital.

IGO is also reviewing its Tropicana joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti, which could result in the full or partial sale of its 30 per cent stake in the asset.

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