Swiss miner Glencore says it is ready to make its takeover offer directly to Teck Resources shareholders if the company’s board refuses to discuss its unsolicited proposal with it.

“We believe that with discussions, we could further improve the structure, terms and value of our proposal, which would be in the best interests of all Teck shareholders,” Glencore said in a statement Thursday. It was its first public comments since Teck canceled a key shareholder vote, due to take place on Wednesday, on a plan to spin off its business that Glencore had opposed.

Teck rescinded its vote when it became apparent that it would not obtain the required two-thirds shareholder approval for its proposal which would effectively create two entities: Teck Metals and Elk Valley Resources (EVR). The company said it would favor a “simpler and more direct” approach.

The development was seen as a major victory for Glencore in its campaign to acquire the Vancouver-based mining company. Although Teck chief executive Jonathan Price said Wednesday that the company continues to view Glencore’s unsolicited $23 billion takeover bid as uninteresting, analysts have suggested that the Teck’s inability to win shareholder support for its own plan showed that Glencore now has the upper hand.

“Glencore hopes that the Teck Board of Directors, in the context of the feedback provided by its shareholders, will engage constructively to fully explore our proposal, which has not been done to date,” said claimed the company.

However, even if Glencore’s offer were to be accepted, it is far from certain that a takeover agreement could take place. A merger would be subject to both a net benefits review and a national security review by the federal government, which has already hinted it has concerns.

Some observers have pointed out that Glencore’s pursuit of the Canadian company comes at the same time as the government has pledged to put in place a national strategy on critical minerals as part of its comprehensive climate plan.

In a letter to the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce dated April 24, three federal cabinet ministers said Ottawa was monitoring the situation “very closely.”

“We need companies like Teck here in Canada,” reads the letter signed by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Resources Minister natural, Jonathan Wilkinson.

On Thursday, federal Tories said the government should block a takeover of Teck by Glencore.

Teck is controlled by the Keevil family, which owns the company’s Class A shares along with Japanese company Sumitomo.

Norman Keevil, chairman emeritus of Teck, said earlier this month that Glencore’s offer is the wrong proposition at the wrong time. He added, however, that he was ready to discuss other possible transactions once the company completes its own plan to spin off.

Mr Price argued on Wednesday that shareholders had made it clear they were still in favor of the idea of ​​separation and that other buyers could arise once Teck separates its coal assets from its metallurgical business. .

“We expect there will be a lot more interest in businesses on a stand-alone basis,” he said. And that’s one of the reasons we continue to believe that splitting up is the right way to go here. »