Vietnam’s Competition and Consumer Authority has approved BHP’s acquisition of OZ Minerals, pushing the Big Australian one step closer to completing the takeover.
The news comes after the Brazilian competition regulator gave similar approval in March.
BHP’s takeover of OZ Minerals has been progressing steadily since November 2022, when the mining giant won over the OZ Minerals board with an offer of $28.25 per share, valuing the copper miner at $9.63 billion.
The accepted offer was an increased from the initial takeover bid of $25 per share ($8.4 billion) in August 2022, which the OZ board swiftly rejected.
The next hurdles that BHP will have to overcome are having the scheme accepted by OZ Minerals shareholders and the court.
The OZ board has unanimously recommended its shareholders approve the BHP offer.
“As a result (of Vietnam’s approval), the condition precedent regarding Vietnamese competition approval has now been satisfied,” OZ Minerals said in a statement.
OZ shareholders will vote on the transaction on April 13, but with the price of copper rising 20 per cent since the accepted bid $9.63 billion, some shareholders have indicated that they will vote against the existing deal.
“The reality of the situation is that the BHP offer now looks a little anaemic,” Argonaut Funds Management’s David Franklyn wrote on January 30.
Franklyn believes OZ’s portfolio of future-facing resources, especially copper, is especially attractive as the world moves towards decarbonisation.
“We view OZ Minerals as one of the best exposures to the global copper market and see no reason to sell out cheaply to BHP,” he wrote.