Former Xstrata boss Mick Davis is said to be finalizing talks with a Toronto-listed miner, in a deal that could kick-off a long awaited buying spree by his $5.6 billion X2 Resources fund.
Davis, a driving force in the deal making that transformed the mining sector during a decade-long commodities boom, is also said to be mulling a bid for South32, BHP Billiton’s spin-off to be officially launched next month, Bloomberg reports.
“A deal in Canada could be a prelude to the bigger acquisition he’s been seeking for some time,” two people familiar with Davis’ plans told Bloomberg.
The sources added the most likely targets were Hudbay Minerals (TSE:HBM), Capstone Mining (TSE:CS) and Imperial Metals (TSE:III), all of which were trading higher Friday morning after the news.
Over the weekend, it transpired that the mining veteran might have approached Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) for either acquiring some of the gold giant assets currently up for sale or a potential partnership, FT.com reported.
Earlier this year market rumours pointed to Davis considering Vale’s nickel business, which it is valued at between $5bn and $7bn.
Last year the 56-year-old South African allegedly tried (and failed) to pick up BHP’s unloved assets. He is also said to have approached Anglo American in November, trying to grab some of the company’s assets including copper mines in Chile, Brazilian nickel mines and a few coal operations.
The team behind London-based X2, which also involves former Xstrata finance director Trevor Reid, has stated it believes the firm could profit from picking up assets other companies, under financial strain of getting funds for ongoing projects, are forced to sell at very low price.
Davis’ war chest includes $4bn in committed equity that can immediately be drawn down and $1.6bn in conditional capital.