Duo advises Zhaojin takeover bid for gold miner Tietto

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Zhaojin Mining's Tietto Minerals Takeover
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Herbert Smith Freehills and Corrs Chambers Westgarth have advised on China gold miner Zhaojin Mining Industry’s takeover of West African peer Tietto Minerals.

Zhaojin Capital (Hong Kong) Limited, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed Zhaojin Mining Industry, made an AUD733 million (USD483.92 million) all-cash and unconditional buyout offer for the ASX-listed firm.

Partners Philippa Stone and Hilary Lau led the Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) team advising Zhaojin on the bid. Partner Jeremy Shen advised on compliance with HKEX listing rules, as well as partners Rebecca Major and Bertrand Montembault who advised on Cote d’Ivoire law.

Lau said the transaction highlighted Chinese miners’ interest in offshore acquisitions. Last year, HSF represented MMG’s USD1.88 billion buyout for the Khoemacau copper mine, and Hainan Mining’s investment in the Bougouni lithium project.

Partner Russell Philip from Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth acted as Tietto’s legal counsel.

Zhaojin Capital had originally laid out an AUD629 million offer for the remaining 93% of shares it had not acquired from Tietto on 29 October last year.

Days later, Tietto’s board of directors urged shareholders not to accept the AUD0.58 per share takeover bid as it showed the company was “materially” undervalued.

Zhaojin then increased the offer to AUD0.68 per share, which propelled Tietto’s key shareholders to accept the Chinese firm’s offer.

The move put Tietto’s board of directors into a corner when the Chinese firm held more than 42% of shares on 29 April 2024. The next day, the company released a statement to urge shareholders to accept the offer or sell their shares.

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