Freeport, Vale, Anglo Are Said to Eye Teck Metals Operations

(Bloomberg) — Major mining companies including Freeport McMoRan Inc., Vale SA and Anglo American Plc are evaluating potential bids for a chance to purchase Teck Resources Ltd.’s base metals business if the Canadian miner successfully spins out its coal assets, according to people familiar with the discussions.

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Any such bid would likely be made only if Teck gets approval from its shareholders later this month to proceed with the planned spinoff, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The interest from other companies comes as Teck races against the clock to get enough shareholder support for the April 26 vote while also trying to fend off an unsolicited $23 billion takeover proposal from Glencore Plc for the entire company.

Glencore grabbed a momentum shift last week as Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis both recommended that investors vote against Teck’s spinoff plan and as Bloomberg News reported that China Investment Corp., which owns 10% of Teck’s Class B shares, currently favors Glencore’s latest proposal because it offers a quicker and cleaner exit from the coal assets.

Read: Glencore Digs in for Battle as Momentum Shifts Against Teck

Teck’s copper and base metals assets have long been coveted by competitors in the metals and mining industry given the high ore grade and the geopolitically friendly regions of the deposits. Teck wasn’t immediately available for comment. Representatives of Vale and Anglo American declined to comment. Freeport said it does not comment on market rumors or speculation.

The Globe and Mail earlier reported the interest in Teck’s base metals business. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that Teck is willing to entertain offers from potential suitors after it finished the spinoff of the coal business.

–With assistance from Mariana Durao, James Attwood and Thomas Biesheuvel.

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