ENRC bidders hold 94.5 percent of shares, extend offer

LONDON Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:22am EDT

The Boss Mining copper operation, owned by ENRC, is seen from a helicopter in the southern Congolese province of Katanga, January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jonny Hogg

The Boss Mining copper operation, owned by ENRC, is seen from a helicopter in the southern Congolese province of Katanga, January 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonny Hogg

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LONDON (Reuters) - The founders of Kazakh miner ENRC ENRC.L, bidding to buy out minority shareholders, said on Thursday that a majority of small investors had taken up the offer, taking acceptances to 94.5 percent and all but guaranteeing success.

The trio of billionaire founders, working with the Kazakh government, already has the support of ENRC's largest shareholder, rival Kazakhmys (KAZ.L), after a shareholder vote earlier this month. But it said after the first deadline for acceptances on August 28 that small shareholders, accounting for 14.6 percent of stock, had also taken up the offer.

Including a 26-percent stake held by Kazakhmys and almost 54 percent held by the government of Kazakhstan and the founders themselves, that takes acceptances to 94.5 percent.

The $4.8 billion deal, which will take ENRC private after almost six troubled years on the London market, is still awaiting final regulatory clearances but is unconditional in respect of acceptances. Remaining shareholders now have until September 11 to take up the offer.

The offer, $2.65 in cash plus 0.23 of a Kazakhmys share for every ENRC share, is worth about 242 pence per share at current prices. ENRC closed at 227.6 pence on Wednesday .

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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