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Minmetals May Need Deal a Year to Grow Fourfold, CEO Says

Minmetals Resources Ltd. CEO Andrew Michelmore
Andrew Michelmore, chief executive officer of Minmetals Resources Ltd. Photographer: Dale de la Rey/Bloomberg

Minmetals Resources Ltd., the publicly traded unit of China’s biggest metals trader, said it may have to make an acquisition annually to meet its target of expanding the company’s market value fourfold within five years.

Minmetals is looking for deals in Africa, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Michelmore said in an interview yesterday in Toronto. Hong Kong-based Minmetals will consider copper, zinc, nickel and bauxite assets, he said.

“We always have to be working on the basis that we are going to do one per year,” Michelmore said, referring to acquisitions. “If we are going to achieve our growth target we will have to do something like that.”

Minmetals in September agreed to buy Anvil Mining Ltd., an Australian producer of copper in Africa, for C$1.3 billion ($1.3 billion). When completed, the takeover will be the Chinese company’s largest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Minmetal’s C$6.04 billion offer for copper miner Equinox Minerals Ltd. in April was trumped by Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp.

The Anvil and Equinox offers give an “indication” of the price range for deals Minmetals will consider, said Michelmore, 59, who was previously CEO of Australian mining companies WMC Resources Ltd. and OZ Minerals Ltd.

‘Top Three’ Target

Expanding will help Minmetals diversify the commodities it produces and create “economies of scale,” he said.

“Our target is to be in the top-three of the mid-tiers within three to five years,” he said.

“We need to be four times the size we are at the moment,” said Michelmore, who was in Toronto to attend to annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention. That can’t be done with “piecemeal” acquisitions, he said.

Minmetals, a unit of state-owned China Minmetals Corp., isn’t interested in buying gold companies or oil and natural-gas assets, Michelmore said.

Minmetals dropped 4.6 percent to HK$4.11 at the close in Hong Kong.

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