LionOre Says Norilsk Takeover Bid Tops Xstrata Offer

LionOre Mining International Ltd. (LIM) said a C$6.8 billion ($6.27 billion) takeover offer from OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (GMKN) was superior to a bid last week from Xstrata (XTA) Plc.

LionOre's board of directors determined that Norilsk's bid yesterday of C$27.50 a share in cash was ``a superior proposal,'' the Toronto-based company said today in a statement. Xstrata, which raised its bid to C$25 a share on May 15, is entitled by prior agreement to match or top the Norilsk offer by June 1, LionOre said.

Xstrata began the contest for LionOre in March, when it offered C$18.50 a share in an agreement that gave the Zug, Switzerland-based company the right to respond to competing offers.

Ian Hamilton, a Toronto-based Xstrata spokesman, declined to comment on the statement. LionOre spokesman Alex Buck wasn't immediately available to comment.

LionOre's statement today was released after the close of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where its shares fell 7 cents, or 0.3 percent, to C$28.30. They have risen 62 percent since the session before Xstrata's first bid was announced.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Delaney in Toronto at robdelaney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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