DMCI group acquiring UK-listed mining firm
Consunji consortium to control nickel miner ENKBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A consortium led by DMCI Holdings is taking control of at least 60.7 percent of UK-listed Zambales nickel miner ENK Plc., the first in a potential string of nickel mining acquisitions mulled by the Consunji-led group.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, DMCI said its joint offer with UK firm D&A Income Ltd. had received valid acceptance from shareholders holding 89.563 million shares, or 34.2 percent, of ENK after the launch of a joint offer to acquire all shares at 19 pence each.
In addition, DMCI had acquired 15.555 million shares through open market purchases, representing 5.9 percent of ENK.
Together with about 53.981 million shares, or 20.6 percent, of ENK already owned by the DMCI-D&A tandem prior to the joint offer and additional market buying, this brought to 60.7 percent the total amount of capital already owned or committed to the consortium.
DMCI president Isidro Consunji said he was not sure yet how much the final investment in ENK would be because the offer period was not yet over. The offer period is tentatively set to close on September 14, he told the Inquirer.
He said DMCI was buying “most” of the shares to be controlled by this partnership. “We intend to have 60 percent minimum,” he said.
This offer was earlier valued 100 percent of the UK-listed mining company at 49.8 million pounds ($79.09 million).
Based on its website, ENK is a nickel laterite development and production company focused on developing its Acoje project in the Philippines. Its principal property of ENK is the Acoje nickel laterite project in Luzon covering about 3,765 hectares. The deposit has an indicated resource of 50.14 million tons grading 1.08 percent nickel and 0.05 percent cobalt. In addition, ENK owns 40 percent of the Zambales chromite deposit, which it is developing in partnership with Montenima Resources Corp.
ENK was incorporated in England and Wales in June 2000 and listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM in 2004, on PLUS Derivatives Exchange in 2007 and on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2010.
On top of DMCI’s bid to take over ENK, Consunji has told reporters that DMCI was scouting for other nickel mining projects in Palawan, Davao, Zamboanga and Leyte. Asked why DMCI was keen mostly on nickel, Consunji said the group was still learning the ropes of mining other commodities, aside from coal, and nickel was the “easiest” to learn.
DMCI grew its first-semester net profit after non-controlling interest by 9 percent to P5.8 billion as an expansion in contribution from nickel mining, construction, real estate and water businesses made up for the decline in earnings from coal mining and power generation.
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