The long-running takeover battle for Tethyan Copper Company Ltd has produced a surprise outcome, with Tethyan negotiating an agreed $190 million offer from Chilean mining company Antofagasta plc.The Antofagasta offer, pitched at $1.20 per share, trumps the existing offer of 77.5 cents per share from Hong Kong investor Crosby Capital (via Skafell Ltd).Tethyan has vigorously opposed the Crosby offer, saying it undervalued the company, but said its directors would unanimously recommend the higher Antofagasta offer.The new deal follows the announcement in December of a joint venture with Antofagasta, which Tethyan used to help fend off the hostile Tethyan offer."The joint venture with Antofagasta that we announced in late December offered long term upside to our shareholders and was very well received," said Tethyan managing director David Moore."However the board is unanimously of the view that this new cash offer represents an outstanding outcome for shareholders and we have no hesitation in recommending its acceptance in the absence of a superior offer."Antofagasta has also entered into an agreement with Barrick Gold Corporation to jointly develop Tethyan's Reko Diq copper-gold project in Pakistan, the company's main asset.Separately, Mincor Resources (which spun out Tethyan in 2003 at a price of 30 cents per share) said it would accept Antofagasta's offer for the 12.5 million Tethyan options it currently holds.
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