LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - Investment group IMIC is preparing a bid for West Africa-focused miner Afferro , in which it has been building a stake, valuing the iron ore group at as much as 147 million pounds ($223 million).
Afferro, which unlike many of its peers in the region still owns 100 percent of its flagship asset, the Nkout iron ore project, has been in talks with several potential partners since late last year and disclosed an initial approach from IMIC in December.
IMIC, an investment company that targets projects and businesses in the resources sector, already owns almost 5 percent of Afferro, Reuters data shows.
IMIC said on Wednesday that it had approached Afferro with three potential options. These include an 80 pence per share offer with a convertible loan note of 20 pence per share, or 50 pence per share in cash plus a 70 pence per share convertible loan. The third option is shares in IMIC equivalent to 140 pence per Afferro share.
Afferro shares closed on Tuesday at 63.75 pence.
IMIC said the cash portion would be subject to a limit of $100 million.
Large West African iron ore projects have been held back by complex infrastructure and escalating costs. IMIC said in a separate statement that it had signed partnerships with Chinese firms including a subsidiary of China Railway Materials Company to develop Nkout.