Copper miner Finders Resources is urging investors to “take no action” following a $178 million takeover bid by a consortium led by its biggest shareholder.

Eastern Field Developments today made an off-market takeover tilt for Finders (ASX:FND), pricing the offer at 23c per share.

Based on its 774 million shares on issue, this prices the offer at around $178 million.

The consortium is jointly owned by Provident Capital Partners, PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya and PT Merdeka Copper Gold.

Singapore-based investment company Provident appears to be the architect of the proposed takeover. Its subsidiary Provident Minerals has been on Finders share register since 2012 and has been an active supporter of Finders.

Provident has helped the company successfully achieve Indonesian regulatory approvals for its flagship Wetar copper mine and introduced leading Indonesian investment company Saratoga as a shareholder back in 2013.

Provident is also the founder of the other consortium partner Merdeka and still has a significant shareholding in the Indonesian copper-gold producer. Merdeka is operating and developing the massive Tujuh Bukit project in Indonesia.

Provident has now invited Saratoga and Merdeka to form Eastern Field which currently has a relevant interest of around 19.8 per cent in Finders, the largest relevant interest in its shares.

The offer price is a 9 per cent premium to Finders’ 3-month volume weight average price of 21c and a 92 per cent premium to Finders’ most recent equity raising price of 12c in November 2016.

“Provident and Saratoga have determined their existing interest in Finders is too small in the context of their collective portfolios,” Eastern Field director David Fowler said.

“This offer enables them to materially increase their shareholding in Finders.”

Mr Fowler said the offer also provided Finders shareholders with the opportunity to lock in  all cash value while removing the Indonesian operational and regulatory risks associated with Finders’ Wetar project.

“In the event the offer is unsuccessful then Provident and Saratoga will review their Finders’ interest and may divest all their Finders shares and withdraw their involvement in Finders,” Mr Fowler added.

A bidder’s statement will be sent to Finders shareholders shortly.

The offer is subject to Eastern Field obtaining more than 50 per cent of Finders Shares and Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.

Finders reaction to the offer

In a short statement, Finders said its board would consider the offer terms and the content of the bidder’s statement (when received) and will advise Finders shareholders of their recommendation in due course.

It has advised shareholders to take no action in relation to the offer.

Shares in Finders were trading 1.5c higher, up 6.5 per cent, at 24.5c on the news.