Eurasian Natural Resources Set to Go Private at 234 Pence a Share

LONDON -- The shares of Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC  ) slid 4 pence to 319 pence during early trade this morning after the Kazakhstani miner announced plans to go private.

The FTSE 100 member confirmed the group's founders and the government of Kazakhstan had agreed to buy out other shareholders in a deal worth 234 pence per share.

ENRC revealed in April that one of its founders, Alexander Machkevitch, had begun to form a consortium to assess a potential offer for the company.

Mr Machkevitch owns 14.6% of ENRC, while fellow founders Alijan Ibragimov and Patokh Chodiev own 14.6% and 13.1% respectively. The government of Kazakhstan owns 11.6% while Kazakhmys  (LSE: KAZ  ) owns around 26%.

Kazakhmys admitted this morning that it believed the offer did not reflect the "full fundamental value" of ENRC. But the FTSE 250 miner also concluded there was "no prospect of persuading the ENRC Consortium to improve the terms", and therefore had accepted the offer.

Kazakhmys will receive $887 million and 77 million of its own shares in exchange for its current ENRC holding.

ENRC confessed this morning that its share price over recent years had been "disappointing", with the group citing "high levels of debt..., high profile disagreements involving the board..., public accusations of poor corporate governance and allegations of corruption" for the performance.

ENRC remains subject to a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

ENRC's annual results published in March showed sales down 18%, underlying profits down 45%, the final dividend scrapped and net debt ballooning five-fold.

ENRC's shares joined the stock market during December 2007 and 540 pence per share, and traded above £14 during 2008.

With shareholders representing some 80% of ENRC backing the offer, minority investors in the miner appear to have little option but to agree to the deal.

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