$1.3B African copper takeover threatened

The takeover of Anvil Mining (TSE:AVM), an Africa-based copper producer, by Chinese company Minmetals Resources Ltd., could be in jeopardy.

Anvil warned on Monday that the $1.3 billion deal may not be completed if the company fails to come to an agreement with partner Gécamines over contractual arrangements.

According to the news release,  La Générale des Carrières et des Mines Sarl (“Gécamines”) told Anvil that the takeover offer would trigger a review of the lease agreements with Anvil over the Kinsevere project in the DRC. State-owned Gécamines holds the leases to the mineral tenures.

While Anvil says "there is no legal requirement for Gécamines’ approval in connection with the proposed change of control," it conceded that without a solution, there is a risk that the offer may not be completed.

Anvil shares slid about 8% on the news.

The Minmentals offer of C$8 per Anvil share in cash represents a 38% premium on the $5.79 price the market was offering before the acquisition was announced last month.

Anvil’s board has unanimously approved the offer and the deal has been cleared by the Australian government.

Anvil’s key asset is the Kinsevere mine, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result of the acquisition, Minmetals says its annual copper output will grow by 60,000 tonnes per year, an increase of 60%. The Kinsevere mine is expected to have about a 14-year life.