Mining giant Anglo-American rejects BHP’s $39 billion takeover offer, says it’s ‘opportunistic’

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LONDON (AP) — U.K.-based mining giant Anglo American has rejected a 31 billion pound ($39 billion) takeover offer from BHP Group, saying it significantly undervalues the company and its growth potential.

Anglo said Friday that its board unanimously rejected the “unsolicited” and “highly conditional” bid from BHP, which was announced a day earlier. The deal would create the world’s largest copper miner, with around 10% of global output — a hugely lucrative market as the world transitions to clean energy.

Anglo said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that the BHP proposal is “opportunistic” and “fails to value” the company’s prospects.

“Anglo American is well positioned to create significant value from its portfolio of high quality assets that are well aligned with the energy transition and other major demand trends,” said chairman Stuart Chambers.

“Anglo American has defined clear strategic priorities, of operational excellence, portfolio, and growth, to deliver full value potential and is entirely focused on that delivery,” he added.

Anglo American’s shares were steady Friday, having risen 16% to 25.60 pounds the day before.

BHP, whose primary headquarters is in Melbourne, Australia, said Thursday that the deal would boost its production of copper as demand for the metal soars amid the shift to clean energy. Copper is widely used in electric vehicles, batteries and charging stations.

The combination would also increase BHP’s holdings of potash, a widely used fertilizer, and coking coal used in steel production.

Analysts said Anglo, which has big copper plants in Chile and Peru and also owns a majority stake in the world-famous De Beers diamond company, remains vulnerable to a higher takeover approach from BHP.

“The proposed deal would hugely reshape the business, and the Anglo board has suggested the current bid isn’t reflective of the opportunity,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at stockbrokers Hargreaves Lansdown: “There’s every chance BHP will come back to the table.”

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