13/01/2016 - 18:07

Metals X steps up Aditya pursuit

13/01/2016 - 18:07

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Metals X steps up Aditya pursuit

Metals X has waived a minimum acceptance condition on its $68 million takeover bid for Aditya Birla Minerals after lifting its holding in the copper miner to 18.24 per cent, less than previously disclosed.

West Perth-based Metals X announced late on Wednesday it would waive the 90 per cent minimum acceptance condition.

It had previously announced it would waive this condition only if it obtained a 20 per cent or greater stake in Aditya before 5pm on Wednesday.

A substantial holder notice issued on Tuesday indicated Metals X had reached that level, with the company saying its relevant interest was 22.39 per cent.

The company clarified that on Wednesday, saying there was a computational error by its share registry which inflated its actual holding.

Aside from the reporting error, it’s clear Metals X has attracted considerable support, having lifted its stake from just 3.51 per cent at the end of 2015.

Metals X said that 384 shareholders have accepted the offer – that equates to 14 per cent of the 2,733 shareholders listed in Aditya’s 2015 annual report.

It said this level of acceptances indicated “a strong preference from minority shareholders for a change in management and approach to the operation of the Nifty mine”.

It waived the 90 per cent condition “to enable all minority shareholders to switch their shareholding in ABY to a shareholding in MLX”.

Metals X has continued its pursuit of Aditya even though Indian company Hindalco Industries, which has a controlling 51 per cent stake, has rejected the bid.

Aditya said late last year it was continuing with a strategic review that would consider all options, including the sale of the company.

Metals X launched its takeover bid two months after famed 1980s deal maker John Spalvins and Perth investor Brettney Fogarty pushed for major changes at Aditya’s annual meeting.

Mr Fogarty holds a 7.9 per cent stake through 3rd Wave Capital (via related entity 3rd Wave Investors) and Mr Spalvins holds a 1.1 per cent stake through his company Galufo.

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