Buying uranium

BHP Billiton has made a cash offer of $7.3 billion to acquire the Australian minerals, metals and fertilizers outfit WMC Resources.

The Board of WMC Resources has unanimously recommended that WMC Resources shareholders accept the BHP Billiton and said that the directors would accept the offer for their own holdings of WMC Resources shares.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer, Chip Goodyear said that the acquisition of WMC Resources was an opportunity to build on the company’s existing nickel and copper businesses and bring uranium into its suite of energy products.

If the deal goes through, BHP Billiton will have operating control of two of the world’s four largest copper deposits and will establish the company as a major producer of uranium with the largest resource base in the world.

The offer is subject to a number of conditions including BHP Billiton receiving necessary regulatory approvals and acquiring at least 90% of the number of WMC Resources ordinary shares on issue.