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CopperCo, Universal battle continues

THE feud between CopperCo and its hostile takeover target, Universal, continues as CopperCo moved last week to block the planned alliance between Swiss miner Xstrata and Universal to develop the Roseby project near Mount Isa in Queensland. The latest development in the ongoing takeover battle, which began in early February with CopperCo’s first bid, is part of a recent increase in that offer which now stands at 11.9 cents per Universal share. The revised offer was made conditional on Universal shareholders rejecting the $6.6 million deal with Xstrata in which the Swiss company would provide access to infrastructure vital to the project’s success. Under the proposed deal, Xstrata can also earn 51 per cent of the sulphide project by spending $15 million on exploration, at which point it must also buy 51 per cent of the broader Roseby project. Universal has advised its shareholders to reject the latest offer, arguing it is still well below the market price of the stock. On the day of the offer, Universal’s share price was 23.2 per cent higher than the CopperCo scrip offer of seven CopperCo shares for every Universal share.

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