Friedland's Ivanplats kickstarts Toronto share sale

Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:24am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Billionaire mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland has begun a long-awaited process to sell shares in his latest venture, Ivanplats, hoping to raise cash for the development of copper, zinc and platinum deposits in Africa.

Ivanplats shareholder Baker Steel Resources Trust BSRT.L said in a statement on Wednesday that the mining firm planned to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and had filed a preliminary prospectus in Canada on Tuesday.

The prospectus gave no detail on timing, price, or the number of shares the company planned to sell in the offering.

The listing - which will enable mining veteran Friedland to develop projects in Congo and South Africa - had been expected to be put on hold due to uncertain market conditions, but could now be one of Canada's biggest listings this year.

Friedland, one of the industry's best known entrepreneurs and toughest negotiators, made his name discovering a huge nickel deposit at Voisey's Bay in Canada, which his team stumbled on while searching for diamonds. It was sold for C$4.3 billion ($4.4 billion) in 1996.

He is also the man behind Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi, considered one of the world's largest copper and gold deposits.

Earlier this year he relinquished control of Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO: Quote), which is developing the Mongolian project, as part of a financing deal with majority shareholder Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote).

Ivanplats' filing showed that while Friedland did not take home a salary for his role as company chairman, he received more than $6 million in options and bonuses last year.

Banks running the sale, which previous reports have suggested could raise $1 billion, are BMO, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley and RBC.

The banks could receive a fee of as much as 5.5 percent of the funds raised from the offering, Ivanplats said in the prospectus.

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Callus)