BHP Group on Wednesday topped a takeover offer for Canadian nickel miner Noront Resources by billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals earlier this week, as the two miners vie for the key battery metal used in electric vehicles.
The months-long takeover battle highlights the efforts miners are taking to secure supply of key battery metals ahead of an expected EV boom as the world looks to cut emissions.
BHP increased its offer to C$419.3 million, or $0.75 per share, bettering the $0.70 per-share proposal from Wyloo that Noront backed on Monday and giving shareholders of the Canadian firm 22 days to accept.
At stake in the scramble for Noront is the Eagle’s Nest nickel asset in Canada’s so-called Ring of Fire, a high-grade deposit of the metal, as well as copper and palladium.
Wyloo, Noront’s top shareholder, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
BHP, the world’s biggest miner, said while it had Noront’s backing for its improved offer, it did not require it and only needed 50 per cent of shares to vote in favor.
Noront also did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Wyloo had lifted its offer from $0.315 per share to top a $0.55 proposal made by BHP in July.