Magris to acquire Vermont, North American talc assets

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Magris to acquire Vermont, North American talc assets

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 12:30pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Toronto-based mining company Magris Resources Canada Inc has entered into a definitive stalking-horse agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Imerys Talc America Inc, Imerys Talc Vermont Inc and Imerys Talc Canada Inc (collectively, the "North American Talc Business") for US$223 million. The North American Talc Business is being sold under proceedings commenced by the sellers under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. The agreement will become fully effective and legally binding after the relevant United States and Canadian courts issue orders to approve it.

The North American Talc Business is North America's premier producer of talc, which is a critical performance-enhancing ingredient used in a variety of industrial applications. Its operations consist of three long-life mines and six processing facilities located in the United States and Canada.

"We are excited to acquire the North American Talc Business, which is underpinned by high-quality, long-life assets that produce a variety of talc products for blue-chip customers in diverse industrial end markets. We have been extremely impressed by the quality and safety culture of the operations and workforce, and look forward to partnering with the existing management team to continue to grow this business," said Aaron Regent, Chairman & CEO of Magris. 

"We look forward to welcoming the North American Talc Business to the Magris family. The combination of the North American Talc Business and our existing niobium business in Canada represents a unique opportunity to realize meaningful synergies and create an industrial minerals platform that Magris can continue to invest in and scale," said Matthew Fenton, President & CFO of Magris.

The transaction is expected to close by late 2020 or early 2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Imerys Talc America, Inc, along with Imerys Talc Vermont, Inc and Imerys Talc Canada, Inc, on February 13, 2019, initiated voluntary Chapter 11 cases in Delaware.

The filing companies said in a press release at the time that they reached this decision after evaluating a range of strategies to safeguard their long-term business interests and address their historic talc-related liabilities in the United States.

As previously reported, Johnson & Johnson has been embroiled in lawsuits related to asbestos being found in talc-related products and lost a $4.7 billion lawsuit in 2018, which it then appealed.

According to "Imerys SA, which mines talc used in Johnson & Johnson’s iconic Baby Powder and other products, agreed to turn over its North American operations to resolve more than 14,000 lawsuits claiming the mineral caused cancer in some consumers." Imerys Talc America, Imerys Talc Vermont and Imerys Talc Canada were "sold at auction with the proceeds going into a trust to compensate talc victims, the company said in a statement. In return, plaintiffs will drop their suits, allowing the businesses to emerge from Chapter 11."

The Vermont talc mine is located in Ludlow. 

About Magris

Magris was founded in 2012 by Aaron Regent to acquire, develop and operate industrial minerals and mining assets on a global basis. Magris owns and operates Niobec, a Quebec-based producer of niobium, which is a critical element used in the production of high-strength, low-alloy steels.

SOURCE TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2020 /CNW/ -Magris Resources Inc