The founders of mining giant Eurasian Natural Resources Corp and the Kazakh government on Monday launched a takeover bid valuing London-listed ENRC at £3.04 billion ($4.67 billion, 3.57 billion euros).
ENRC, one of Central Asia's largest miners, has operations in Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Brazil and Africa, and has been quoted on the London stock market since 2007.
Eurasian Resources Group, a newly-formed consortium, said in a statement that it had offered to buy full control of ENRC after rival miner Kazakhmys agreed to sell its 26-percent stake.
The consortium -- which includes ENRC founders Alexander Machkevitch, Alijan Ibragimov, Patokh Chodiev, as well as the Kazakh government -- wants to de-list the company and boost its operational performance.
The three co-founders and the Kazakh state already own almost 54 percent of ENRC.
The takeover offer is pitched at $2.65 in cash, plus 0.230 Kazakhmys shares per ENRC share. ENRC has yet to issue a response.
"The board of Eurasian Resources Group is pleased to announce the terms of an offer to be made by Eurasian Resources for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC," said a statement from the consortium.
It added: "The offer values each ENRC share at approximately 234.3 pence and the fully diluted share capital of ENRC at approximately £3.043 billion."
In a separate statement, Kazakhmys said the deal would give it about $887 million in cash, and more than 77 million Kazakhmys shares. It added that this will "substantially strengthen the group's financial position".
Kazakhmys noted that the offer "may undervalue ENRC and its assets", but had concluded that there was "no prospect" of obtaining improved terms from the consortium.
"The share price performance of ENRC over recent years has been disappointing and has materially lagged behind its diversified mining peer group," added the consortium statement.
"There have been several reasons for this and whilst the founders and the Kazakh government are confident of the underlying quality and overall potential of ENRC's key businesses, they believe that the value of ENRC will only be fully realised if ENRC is no longer a listed company, allowing greater management focus on operational performance.
"The Kazakh government has a particular interest in stabilising the operating and financial performance of ENRC given that ENRC employs approximately 66,700 people in Kazakhstan and is responsible for providing key infrastructure support in a number of areas."