$1billion Ivanplats IPO rumoured

Bloomberg reports that Ivanplats Ltd., an Africa-focused mining company controlled by billionaire CEO Robert Friedland, may seek up to $1 billion in an IPO.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg states that Ivanplats, which has copper, platinum, gold, nickel and iron ore deposits in Gabon, DRC and South Africa, could be valued as much as $5 billion after the stock sale. The listing may take place in Toronto followed by a secondary listing in London as early as the second quarter.

If successful, it would be the largest IPO in Canada since Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. raised $1.3 billion in March of 2010, Bloomberg notes.

Ivanplats’ 100%-owned Kamoa project in Gabon ranks as the most significant copper discovery in the DRC since Belgian colonization 100 years ago, the company states on its website, without elaborating resource figures. Its Platreef project in South Africa, which hosts gold, copper, rhodium, nickel and PGMs, is 10% owned by Japanese trading corporation ITOCHU Corp., which has an offtake agreement. ITOCHU purchased an 8% stake  in June last year for US$280 million.

Pre-feasibility studies are underway at both projects.

The IPO rumour comes as Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines, which is building Mongolia’s Ogu Togoi copper-gold complex, said this week it is scrapping a controversial “poison pill” shareholder plan that was put in place to stop Rio Tinto, which already owns 49% of the Vancouver-based company, from doing a complete takeover. The shareholder rights plan was backed by shareholders in 2010 and due to expire next year. But a court in December ruled that it could not be used to dilute Rio’s stake.

In October the Mongolian government said it was rethinking a 2009 deal that gave Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto a 66% stake in Oyu Tolgoi and that it wanted half of the $6 billion gold and copper project. Ivanhoe shares plunged on the news, but the firm took a tough stance and after some desperate negotiations Mongolia backed off.



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