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KAZ Minerals buyout group lifts bid for the miner by 700 million pounds

·2-min read

(Reuters) - The group trying to take KAZ Minerals private said on Thursday that it has raised its bid for the copper miner by 22%, as it tries to win round minority shareholders who rejected the earlier proposal for being too low.

The consortium led by KAZ Chairman Oleg Novachuk and Kazakh billionaire Vladimir Kim said the new offer of 780 pence per share, which values the company at 3.69 billion pounds ($5.02 billion), has the unanimous backing of the company's independent committee.

But the offer is still likely to draw resistance from minority shareholders who had previously said they would vote against it.

"Based on current circumstances, we do not believe this latest offer price represents good value for minority shareholders," fifth biggest shareholder RWC Partners said in an emailed statement.

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Liberum analysts called the sweetened bid "just about acceptable," adding the opposing shareholders could in theory draw out a further increase.

Novachuk reiterated on Thursday that he believed KAZ's long term-interests would be best served as a private organisation.

Novachuk, who along with Kim currently holds just under 40% in KAZ, bought back most of the company that was then called Kazakhmys in 2004 from Samsung and other shareholders through a management buyout. It was floated on the London stock market in 2005.

While copper has been in high demand for its use in renewable energy and electric vehicles, the market struggled last year as the coronavirus crisis disrupted normal mining operations.

KAZ shares, which have jumped 33% since the bid in late October, were up 2.4% at 791.8 pence in early trade.

($1 = 0.7357 pounds)

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(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru and Clara Denina in London; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Rachel Armstrong)