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HudBay Minerals to Buy All Common Shares of Norsemont Mining

HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM)(NYSE:HBM) and Norsemont Mining Inc. (TSX:NOM)(BVLAC:NOM) announced today that they have entered into an agreement pursuant to which HudBay has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Norsemont that HudBay does not already own by way of formal take-over bid. The transaction values the equity of Norsemont at approximately $520 million, on a fully-diluted basis.

Highlights

  • Norsemont shareholders will receive 0.2617 HudBay shares and $0.001 in cash, or $4.50 in cash, subject to a maximum aggregate cash consideration of $130 million.
  • HudBay's offer represents a premium of 33%, based on the volume weighted average trading prices of HudBay and Norsemont on the TSX for the 20 trading days ended January 7, 2011 of $17.76 and $3.49, respectively.
  • Norsemont's Constancia copper project has excellent infrastructure in an established mining district in Peru.
  • HudBay's future combined copper production is expected to grow by approximately 145% between 2011 and 2016, as a result of bringing Constancia into full production. Constancia will also contribute to HudBay's gold equivalent production, which is expected to increase 130% during the same period.
  • The Norsemont acquisition is expected to increase HudBay's mineral exposure on a per share basis and is expected to deliver per share growth in HudBay's net asset value and long term earnings and cash flow.
  • The transaction is consistent with HudBay's strategy of acquiring porphyry or VMS deposits with exploration upside in mining-friendly jurisdictions in the Americas, with the opportunity to add value through exploration, mine development and operational expertise.
  • With $1.2 billion of available cash and credit lines, and strong cash flow from existing operations, HudBay is in an excellent position to finance construction of the Constancia project.

Terms of the Transaction

  • Pursuant to the take-over bid, holders of Norsemont Shares who tender their shares to the bid and elect to receive the maximum equity consideration will receive consideration with a value of $4.65 per share, based on the volume weighted average trading price on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") for the 20 trading days ended January 7, 2011 of $17.76 per HudBay common share ("HudBay Share").
  • The consideration to be paid pursuant to HudBay's bid represents a premium of 33% (assuming election of maximum equity consideration), based on the volume weighted average trading price of the Norsemont Shares on the TSX for the 20 trading days ended January 7, 2011 of $3.49 per share.
  • Under HudBay's bid, holders of Norsemont Shares will have the ability to elect, on an individual basis, to receive 0.2617 HudBay Shares and $0.001 in cash, $4.50 in cash, or a combination of cash and HudBay Shares (with the share consideration based on a price per HudBay Share of $17.19), subject to proration necessary to effect maximum aggregate cash consideration of $130 million. This will provide an opportunity for Canadian holders of Norsemont Shares to defer Canadian tax that otherwise might be payable as a result of their acceptance of the bid.
  • The election mechanism benefits Norsemont shareholders by providing an embedded option between the announcement and shortly before the closing date of the transaction that effectively underpins the value of the share consideration while providing upside potential.
  • Assuming HudBay acquires all of the Norsemont Shares pursuant to the bid (and assuming holders of Norsemont Shares elect to receive the maximum number of HudBay Shares issuable in connection with the bid) current holders of HudBay Shares will represent approximately 83% of the outstanding HudBay Shares and the former holders of Norsemont Shares will represent approximately 17% of the outstanding HudBay Shares.
  • The boards of directors of Norsemont, upon the recommendation of a Special Committee of the board, and HudBay have approved HudBay's acquisition of Norsemont pursuant to the bid. The board of directors of Norsemont is recommending that holders of Norsemont Shares tender their Norsemont Shares to HudBay's bid.
  • Officers, directors and other shareholders of Norsemont holding approximately 34.4% of the Norsemont Shares, on a fully-diluted basis, have entered into lock-up agreements with HudBay under which they have agreed to tender their Norsemont Shares to the bid. Together with HudBay's 1.1% interest, these shares represent approximately 35.6% of the fully-diluted Norsemont Shares.

Norsemont owns 100% of the Constancia copper project in southern Peru. As of September 2009, the Constancia project had proven and probable mineral reserves containing 277 million tonnes grading 0.43% copper, 0.012% molybdenum, 0.05 g/t gold and 3.7 g/t silver. Based on the preliminary results of the optimization study released on December 30, 2010, the proposed Constancia project is expected to produce annually 172 million pounds of copper and 2 million pounds of molybdenum in concentrate at attractive cash costs over a 15 year mine life.

"This transaction helps solidify HudBay's position as one of the leading mid-tier mining companies with an enhanced growth pipeline in stable, mining-friendly jurisdictions," said David Garofalo, President and Chief Executive Officer of HudBay. "Our reliable operations in low-risk jurisdictions combined with our strong financial position complement our ability to execute a focused growth strategy of acquiring porphyry and VMS deposits with exploration upside in the Americas."

"Bringing Constancia into operation will significantly increase HudBay's copper production and contribute to HudBay's precious metals production growth. In addition, this acquisition is expected to increase our mineral exposure on a per share basis, and deliver per share growth in net asset value and long term earnings and cash flow," added Mr. Garofalo. "Our offer permits Norsemont's shareholders to continue to participate in the development of the Constancia project with the added benefit of exposure to HudBay's profitable operations and world class Lalor development project."

"HudBay is a highly respected mining company with a long record of more than 80 years of successful base metals mining and processing operations in Canada," said Patrick Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Norsemont. "With its strong balance sheet and exceptional technical expertise HudBay is well placed to accelerate the development of the Constancia project far sooner than Norsemont could have achieved independently. The HudBay offer provides Norsemont shareholders with an attractive opportunity to continue to participate in Constancia's success without the dilution that the independent funding of Constancia's development would have required."

"Besides presenting Norsemont shareholders with an exciting diversification and growth opportunity, Peru will benefit significantly through HudBay's participation in that country's well-established and rapidly growing mining industry," added Mr. Evans.

Benefits to HudBay Shareholders

The transaction is expected to provide the following benefits to the holders of HudBay Shares:

  • Constancia is an attractive copper project with excellent infrastructure in an established mining district. HudBay's future combined copper production is expected to grow by approximately 145% between 2011 and 2016, as a result of bringing the project into full production.
  • The transaction will increase HudBay's mineral exposure on a per share basis and is expected to be accretive to HudBay's net asset value per share as well as long-term earnings and cash flow per share;
  • The transaction will enhance HudBay's position as a leading mid-tier mining company with increasing leverage to both base and precious metals for its shareholders;
  • The combined company will have a robust portfolio of long-life assets with low cash costs and significant copper, gold and zinc production growth;
  • HudBay has significant financial resources to finance the strong development pipeline of the combined companies, including highly prospective projects such as Constancia and HudBay's Lalor project in northern Manitoba; and,
  • The transaction is consistent with HudBay's strategy, which includes a focus on porphyry and VMS deposits with exploration upside in the Americas, with the opportunity to add value through technical expertise and financial capacity.

Benefits to Norsemont Shareholders

The transaction is expected to provide the following benefits to the holders of Norsemont Shares:

  • Delivery of an attractive and immediate premium;

  • Tax-deferral opportunity for Canadian holders of Norsemont Shares, with the option to elect significant cash consideration;

  • Realize Constancia's full production potential by leveraging HudBay's development expertise;

  • Minimal dilution since HudBay can fund Constancia through existing financial resources;

  • Diversification benefits through HudBay's portfolio of producing mines and development projects; and,

  • Participation in a high-growth, mid-tier mining company.

The Special Committee of the board of directors of Norsemont was advised by Cutfield Freeman & Co. Ltd. ("Cutfield Freeman"), as financial advisor, and Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, as legal advisor. Cutfield Freeman and Wellington West Capital Markets Inc. have provided opinions to the Special Committee and board of directors of Norsemont that, as of January 9, 2011, the consideration to be received by holders of Norsemont Shares under HudBay's take-over bid is fair, from a financial point of view, to the holders of Norsemont Shares (other than HudBay and its affiliates). A copy of each fairness opinion, the factors considered by the board of directors and its Special Committee in recommending that holders of Norsemont Shares tender their Norsemont Shares to HudBay's bid, and other relevant background information, will be included in the directors' circular that will be sent to the holders of Norsemont Shares in connection with the bid.

RBC Capital Markets is acting as financial advisor to HudBay in connection with the transaction. Goodmans LLP is legal counsel to HudBay and Minvisory Corp. is acting as HudBay's strategic advisor.

HudBay has retained Kingsdale Shareholder Services Inc. to act as both its Information Agent and Depositary in connection with the Offer.

The support agreement that has been entered into by Norsemont and HudBay contains customary "non-solicitation" provisions that permit the board of directors of Norsemont to terminate the support agreement and enter into an agreement in respect of an unsolicited, superior proposal under certain circumstances, subject to, among other things, "matching rights" in favour of HudBay and payment of a termination payment of $21.6 million.

Full details of the offer will be included in HudBay's take-over bid circular, which is expected to be mailed to holders of Norsemont Shares before the end of the month. The bid will be open for acceptance for a period of not less than 35 days and will be subject to certain customary conditions (which may be waived by HudBay in its discretion), including there being deposited under the take-over bid and not withdrawn at the expiry time of the take-over bid such number of Norsemont Shares that represent at least 50% (calculated on a fully-diluted basis) plus one of the Norsemont Shares.

Source: HudBay Minerals Inc.

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