ENRC Founders Said to Seek 21-Day Extension on Bid for Company

The three founders of Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., leading a group seeking to take the Kazakh miner private, are seeking an extension to make a bid for the company, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The group yesterday asked an independent committee for a minimum three-week extension to the existing U.K. Takeover Panel deadline of 5 p.m. on June 3 to formalize an initial proposal made last month or to drop the plan, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential. Legal complexities around forming the bidding group, which also includes the Kazakh government, have delayed the bid and there’s no issue funding the offer, one of the people said.

Alexander Machkevitch, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov are seeking to take the company private five years after its initial public offering in London. The independent committee, set up by London-based ENRC’s board to evaluate the offer, said last month the proposal “materially undervalues ENRC.”

The three and the Kazakh government, which combined own 54 percent, offered 175 pence in cash and 0.231 shares of Kazakhmys Plc for each ENRC share, the committee said in a May 20 statement. That valued ENRC at about $4.9 billion yesterday.

The founders are raising $1.6 billion to fund the cash component of the buyout, and the government is offering its 26 percent stake in London-based Kazakhmys Plc, according to people familiar with the matter last month who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Spokesmen for ENRC and the bidding group declined to comment. The independent committee couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The news was reported earlier by Reuters.

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