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Odey criticises Anglo American's offer for Sirius

By Sean Farrell

Date: Wednesday 19 Feb 2020

Odey criticises Anglo American's offer for Sirius

(Sharecast News) - Odey Asset Management has criticised Anglo American's rescue offer for Sirius Minerals, accusing the FTSE 100 miner of trying to pick up the company for less than its value.
Anglo American agreed to buy Sirius for 5.5p a share in cash on 20 January in a deal valuing the fertiliser maker at ?404.9m. Sirius has said with no alternative on the table it will probably be forced into liquidation if the deal is not approved.

In a letter to Sirius's chief executive Chris Fraser and Anglo American boss Mark Cutifani, the hedge fund said Sirius's most recent accounts suggest the company's equity value is ?893.1m - 120% higher than the offer from Anglo American recommended by the board.

Odey, which has recently bought Sirius shares, said Sirius's chief financial officer and auditors PwC approved the valuation only four months before recommending Anglo American's offer to shareholders.

"It is Odey's belief that Anglo American's current offer does not represent fair value for shareholders in Sirius," Odey said. "The recommended offer seems, to Odey, to make a mockery of both internal and external audit at Sirius."

Odey noted that Anglo American had not declared its offer as final. The fund said it believed this was because the deal could fall through or an "interloper" could come in with a higher bid, prompting Anglo American to improve its offer.

"The lack of 'final offer, in Odey's opinion, suggests that Anglo American would be willing to bid substantially more for Sirius, with the investment case remaining highly attractive for Anglo American, even at a materially higher bid level," Odey said.

Odey said it would vote against an unimproved Anglo American offer not described as final. If Anglo wants to retain the option to counter-bid against an interloper, Odey said it would vote for any bid at 7p a share or more.

Sirius shares rose 2.8% to 5.16p at 0853 GMT. Anglo American shares were up 1.6% to 2,088p.


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