Norilsk Nickel buys over 97% of LionOre stock as offer expires

In Hungary

Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel said Tuesday it had purchased over 97.7% of shares of Canada’s nickel and gold producer LionOre under its cash offer, and started compulsory acquisition of the remaining stock.

The offer to buy all of LionOre’s outstanding common stock in a friendly, all-cash transaction for around 6.8 billion Canadian dollars ($6.2 billion) or 27.5 Canadian dollars ($25.32) per common share expired August 13 and has not been extended by the company, Norilsk Nickel said. “Over 241.5 million common shares of LionOre representing in excess of 97.75% of its outstanding common stock have been acquired or will be taken up with payment to be made shortly,” the metals giant said in a statement.

Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest producers of nickel, palladium, platinum and copper, offered in early May to buy all of LionOre’s common stock, paying 21.50 Canadian dollars ($19.42) in cash per common share. The Russian metals giant subsequently increased its cash offer to 27.5 Canadian dollars ($25.32) per share. “Since the offer was accepted by the holders of more than 90% of the outstanding common shares as of the expiry time, Norilsk Nickel intends to proceed to acquire the remaining common shares of LionOre pursuant to the compulsory acquisition procedures available under Canadian law. The notice of compulsory acquisition will be mailed to shareholders as soon as practicable,” the statement said. The Russian company earlier said it was seeking to acquire LionOre to boost its metals output, expand the geography of its operations, and implement “exciting projects.”

LionOre is a global nickel and gold producer with operations in Australia, Botswana and South Africa. In 2006, LionOre produced 34,094 metric tons of payable nickel and 155.203 ounces of gold. (

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