Mick Davis rethinks mining fund after failing to complete deals – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – July 18, 2016)


Former Xstrata boss is considering removing veto over potential investments

Launched three years ago with $5.6bn of commitments, Mr Davis’s X2 Resources has yet to complete its first acquisition. Relatively high valuations for mining assets and an investor veto on deals have frustrated Mr Davis and his team in their search for bargains in metals and mining.

They came close to buying a group of coal mines from Rio Tinto a year ago, only for the deal to fall apart after it was blocked by key investors on environmental grounds.

Mr Davis also approached BHP Billiton with an offer to buy a collection of its non-core mines but the Anglo-Australian miner decided to stick with to a plan to spin off the non-core assets into a newly listed company.

In order to make it easier to strike deals, Mr Davis is now considering removing the veto that some of its main backers have over potential investments, people familiar with his plans said. “They want a vehicle that’s better suited to the current environment,” one of people said.

X2 Resources refused to comment on the moves, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.Attempts to reshape the investment fund — which continues to assess potential targets — comes as it is set to lose two of its original backers.

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