BNC acquisition deal falls through

Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) says discussions between its ultimate holding company Asa Resource Group (Asa) and a third party relating to the sale of a majority stake in the mining company have been terminated.

The company had issued cautionary statements from December last year to mid-February this year advising shareholders that negotiations were in progress.

“Shareholders are advised that discussions regarding the proposed acquisition of the interest of Asa in BNC by the third party have been terminated,” the company said in statement on Friday without disclosing the reasons for the termination of the deal.
The nickel-mining company had earlier disclosed that Asa had entered into a “sale and purchase agreement with a third party in relation to the 74,73 percent shareholding in BNC.”
The unnamed third party was said to be a United Kingdom-based nickel producer with complementary interests in southern Africa.
The only other detail about the deal that had been made public was that “the conditions of the agreement included various regulatory approvals and other conditions as expected with a transaction of this nature.”
However, media reports have been linking Asa with London and Johannesburg-listed Pan African Resources (Pan African), which announced last year that it was in “exclusive negotiations with the joint administrators of Asa”.
Pan African said at the time that the talks were around “acquiring certain of the assets and liabilities of Asa.”
Pan African also did not give details and warned that there was no certainty any purchases would be concluded.
Asa, which is currently under administration, has been in turmoil since last year when it fired its chief executive and financial director after they allegedly defrauded Freda Rebecca Mine, in which Asa holds 85 percent.
The Africa-focused miner also recently reportedly faced a hostile takeover from Rich Pro, a Chinese firm allegedly tied to the sacked executives.
In June last year, Asa cancelled its London listing after delays in fixing a deep cash flow crisis.
Asa, formerly known as Mwana Africa, holds interests in gold and nickel in Zimbabwe. Its two key assets are Freda Rebecca gold mine, the Trojan nickel mine and the Bindura nickel operation, which has a mill, a concentrator, a smelter and a refinery.
Meanwhile, BNC says its $20 million smelter project is on hold due to declining nickel prices.

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