02/11/2020 - 15:38

Cardinal, Shandong go to Takeovers Panel

02/11/2020 - 15:38

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Takeover target Cardinal Resources has requested that its bidders be allowed to improve their proposals after having declared their $1 per share bids as ‘best and final’.

Cardinal, Shandong go to Takeovers Panel
Cardinal's flagship asset is the 5.1 million ounce Namdini gold project in Ghana. Photo: Cardinal Resources

Takeover target Cardinal Resources has requested that its bidders be allowed to improve their proposals after having declared their $1 per share bids as ‘best and final’.

Offers for the West Perth-based company have more than doubled during the year, with rivals Nordgold and Shandong Gold outbidding each other since March.

It started in June when China’s Shandong offered to buy Cardinal for 60 cents per share, trumping Nordgold’s initial, 46-cent bid.

The bidders are now each offering to pay $1 per share for Cardinal, which has a market cap of $551 million.

All three companies have now sought remedies from the Australian Takeovers Panel, with Shandong submitting an application on Friday and Cardinal today.

Nordgold has one active application, submitted late last month.

Cardinal has requested that Shandong and Nordgold be permitted to increase their $1 per share offers, or not be prevented from doing so.

In its application, Cardinal said its bidders had stated or implied: “They would pay more to acquire control of Cardinal after having made a last and final statement”.

Cardinal also alleged Nordgold, in its application, was exploiting a technicality in Shandong’s ‘best and final’ statement, among other submissions.

Nordgold had argued Shandong’s announcement dated October 26 was “materially misleading”.

Meanwhile, Shandong Gold has requested that Cardinal shareholder MM Asset Management Inc, which accepted Nordgold’s 90-cents per share bid in September, be permitted to reverse its acceptance.

Shandong said MMAM had rushed to accept the Nordgold offer and that MMAM’s conduct was not economically rational when taking into account a continuing bidding process, among other instances.

Shandong has also requested it be released from its best and final statement, as well as be able to raise its offer past $1 per Cardinal share.

“Shandong’s best and final statement was made in circumstances where there was not an efficient, competitive and informed market and Shandong has been deprived of the opportunity to compete for the MMAM stake,” Shandong said.

The Takeovers Panel is yet to make a statement on the three applications.

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