Within a week of hedge fund Harbinger falling out of the race for acquiring Asarco, the two other suitors– India’s Sterlite Industries and Grupo Mexico have intensified their bidding war for the US copper miner. Sterlite which is part of Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Group, has revised its cash offer to purchase the assets of Asarco even as the overall bid value remains around the same level of $1.8 billion.
Sterlite has offered to pay $1.587 billion in cash in view of the increase in global copper prices and $208 million in the form of copper price participation note(which is basically money paid to smelters when prices exceed certain value).
The value of the participation note has been lowered from $770 million to $208 million. But the overall bid value remains at the same level of $1.798 billion((marginally lower as against $1.87 billion earlier) as the firm has upped the cash offer to $1.59 billion from $1.1 billion earlier.
“The consideration was changed to reflect an increase in copper prices and to meet the expectations of creditors,” Sterlite said in a disclosure to the stock exchanges on Tuesday.
It has also said, “Sterlite will also be the beneficiary of 50% of the proceeds from General Unsecured Creditors’ interest in a judgement against Americas Mining Corporation awarded by US District Court of Texas, Brownsville Division, once the General Unsecured Creditors are paid in full including post petition interest. Terms of the agreement with Asbestos Representatives remain unchanged.”
Sterlite had earlier in June revised its offer to $1.87 billion from $1.7 billion and said it is not looking to revise the price upwards. This was after it scaled down the deal value from
GRUPO MEXICO RESPONDS
Meanwhile, Grupo Mexico has countered this with $1.72 billion in cash, plus a $280 million secured note to a trust for asbestos claimants.
The metal giant which saw profits halve in the second quarter ended June on the back of lower realisations, had earlier offered $1.46 billion cash besides $280 million note.
The Texas court has begun the final hearings on the bids which could decide who will take control of Asarco within the next two weeks. Formed more than 100 years ago by consolidating a number of silver smelting companies, Asarco has over the years evolved into an integrated producer of copper and other metals.