31/05/2005 - 22:00

Kumba bid for full Ticor

31/05/2005 - 22:00

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South African company Kumba Resources has put forward an indicative proposal to move to full ownership of its Australian mineral sands subsidiary Ticor.

Kumba bid for full Ticor

South African company Kumba Resources has put forward an indicative proposal to move to full ownership of its Australian mineral sands subsidiary Ticor.

Kumba presently owns 51.5 per cent of Ticor and has proposed buying out minority shareholders at a price of $1.70 cash per share, which values the company at $418 million.

Ticor’s shares have traded between $1.25 and $1.72 over the past year and were trading at $1.55 before the company called a trading halt this week.

The takeover proposal comes after a boardroom battle last year, in which Kumba forced out former chairman Dick Carter and former managing director Peter Bradfield.

It also follows the relocation of Ticor’s head office to Perth, closer to its Tiwest joint venture operations.

Ticor has formed a committee of independent directors to negotiate with Kumba, whose proposal is subject to the full board recommending a scheme of arrangement to Ticor’s minority shareholders.

Apart from Kumba, Ticor’s share register is dominated by Axa Asia Pacific (28.6 per cent) and fund manager Perennial (8.3 per cent).

Ticor said it is currently uncertain as to whether a firm proposal will eventuate and it is possible any firm proposal may be at a different price.

In other takeover news, financial technology company IWL has closed its takeover offer for Perth competitor JDV after a late flurry of acceptances lifted its stake to 37 per cent.

This leaves JDV in an unusual situation, since its three major shareholders, IWL, Westpac and Royal Bank of Canada, collectively own 94.3 per cent of the company.

Putting aside the Westpac and RBC shares, IWL’s bid was accepted by the vast majority of remaining shareholders and leaves JDV with an illiquid share registry.

IWL said it will seek “appropriate board representation” at JDV.

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