Deal or no deal? Why the BHP share price is crumbling today

The BHP share price is under pressure following the mining giant's third takeover bid for Anglo American.

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The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price is taking a tumble today.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining giant closed yesterday trading for $46.24. In morning trade on Thursday, shares are swapping hands for $44.96, down 2.8%.

For some context, the ASX 200 is down 0.9% at this time.

BHP's underperformance today comes following the latest developments in its ongoing multi-billion takeover efforts of Anglo American (LSE: AAL).

What's happening with the Anglo American takeover?

The BHP share price is under selling pressure after the ASX 200 miner reported that it had lobbed a third improved takeover offer for Anglo American. And that this offer, too, was swiftly rejected by Anglo's board.

BHP announced its first takeover bid back on 26 April.

The big Aussie miner is mostly interested in Anglo copper assets. Should BHP succeed in its acquisition, it will become the world's top copper producer. BHP has indicated it will likely divest some of Anglo's assets, like its South African platinum and iron ore projects.

The first takeover offer was rejected as undervaluing Anglo's assets and growth prospects and being too complex. The BHP share price initially fell on that news as well.

On 14 May BHP reported a sweetened offer valued at around $64 billion. This was also quickly waved off by Anglo's board.

This third, and likely final, offer is valued at $59.64 per Anglo American share, a hefty premium to Anglo American's recent share price. The new offer equates to around $74 billion.

"BHP's revised proposal will offer immediate value for Anglo American shareholders and allow them to benefit from the long-term value generation of the combined group," BHP CEO Mike Henry said.

But Anglo American chairman Stuart Chambers is not convinced. "The board is confident in Anglo American's standalone future prospects," he said.

But that doesn't mean a deal is off the table.

If Henry's goal was to get negotiations rolling in earnest, it looks like he may have scored.

According to Chambers:

The board is willing to continue to engage with BHP and its advisers on this topic and has therefore requested a one-week extension to the PUSU deadline which has been consented to by the panel.

The one-week extension moves the new takeover deadline to 29 May.

"BHP looks forward to engaging with the board of Anglo American to explore this unique and compelling opportunity to bring together two highly complementary, world class businesses," Henry said.

Commenting on the developments pressuring the BHP share price today, James Whiteside, metals and mining corporate research director at Wood Mackenzie said (quoted by Bloomberg), "The companies believe that they're getting closer. Anglo has probably signposted what needs to happen to get it over the line."

BHP share price snapshot

The BHP share price is up 3% over the past 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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