Canada's CPPIB pension fund may bid for Dominion Diamond: sources

Thu May 11, 2017 11:55am EDT
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By Susan Taylor and Nicole Mordant

TORONTO/VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)), the country's biggest public pension fund, is considering a bid for Dominion Diamond Corp (DDC.TO: Quote)(DDC.N: Quote) and is studying the miner's books, people familiar with the process told Reuters. 

The move comes after Dominion, the world's third largest diamond producer by market value, put itself up for sale in late March, following an unsolicited $1.1 billion approach from U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington.

Shares of Dominion Diamond rose as much as 6.1 percent in Toronto trading and as much as 8.1 percent in New York.

CPPIB, with assets of C$298 billion ($217 billion) under management, and Dominion both declined to comment.

The sources, whom Reuters spoke to over a period of several days, declined to be named as the talks are confidential.

It is unlikely that CPPIB will make an offer for Dominion on its own, and if CPPIB decides to proceed with a bid, it may financially back a partner with mine operation expertise, the sources said.

CPPIB is one of more than five parties that have signed an agreement with Dominion to get access to its confidential data, one source said.

Canadian small producer Stornoway Diamond Corp (SWY.TO: Quote) held merger talks with Dominion earlier this year, Reuters reported, but it is unclear if it will make a formal bid. Stornoway declined to comment.   Continued...