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Minmetals wins Australia's approval for Anvil takeover

Anvil's Kinsevere copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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China-based Minmetals Resources Ltd. said Monday that it has received Australian government approval for its planned $1.3-billion takeover of Anvil Mining Ltd. , an Australian company with offices in Montreal.

Approval under Australia's Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act "achieves a key condition and was a necessary step before MMR could take up shares tendered into MMR's offer," Minmetals CEO and executive director Andrew Michelmore said in a news release.

"Now that Anvil shareholders have the offer documentation we urge them to accept the offer before it closes."

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The Minmetals offer of $8 per Anvil share in cash — a 38 per cent premium to Anvil's market price of $5.79 prior to the announcement of the takeover bid last month — is open for acceptance until 8 p.m. ET on Nov. 24.

Hong Kong-listed Minmetals Resources is majority owned by China Minmetals Nonferrous Co., Ltd., part of the China Minmetals group, which has its headquarters in Beijing and 168,000 employees worldwide.

The transaction is part of a growing trend that has seen Chinese companies use their rich cash reserves to acquire mining and other resources companies around the world, including in Canada.

For Minmetals, the friendly agreement came after failure to finalize other planned Canadian acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Minmetals lost out to Barrick Gold Corp. , the Toronto-based gold giant that paid $7.3-billion and outbid the Chinese company for Vancouver-based copper producer Equinox Resources.

In 2004, Minmetals was in talks to buy former resources giant Noranda Inc., but the negotiations collapsed over price and concerns that such an agreement might not be approved by regulators.

Anvil Mining, listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as the Australian Stock Exchange has base metals mining interest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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