Speaking on the first day of Mines and Money Hong Kong, Hoffman said private equity was the “game of a gambler”
X2 recently raised nearly $6 billion but is yet to make an investment, but Hoffman thinks it may be close.
“Mick is sitting there talking to everyone,” Hoffman said.
“He knows he really has these miners – because of their funding situation – right where he wants them.”
Hoffman expects X2 to be ruthless on price, putting in low bids due to the desperation of some companies.
“The first deal will be a blockbuster,” he said, adding that it would trigger a wave of PE deals in mining.
“Mick, when are you going to do the deal?”
Meanwhile, the CEO of Owen Hegarty-backed EMR Capital, Jason Chang, said the fund was close to finalising a deal in the US.
After recently raising $450 million, Chang said the company was looking in safe, stable domains but was also actively looking in Asia – countries like Laos, Cambodia and even Indonesia.
“For the right project we would do a deal there,” he said.
Chang said EMR was looking for high grades, low costs and scalability.
“A lot of these mining companies have the projects but not the funding, or perhaps not the depth of expertise,” he said.