06/10/2008 - 12:17

Palmer launches bid for Qld coal play

06/10/2008 - 12:17

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Toronto-listed Waratah Coal Ltd has urged its shareholders to take no action against a hostile bid by acquisitive billionaire Clive Palmer, who recently launched a takeover for a Western Australian iron ore play.

Palmer launches bid for Qld coal play

Toronto-listed Waratah Coal Ltd has urged its shareholders to take no action against a hostile bid by acquisitive billionaire Clive Palmer, who recently launched a takeover for a Western Australian iron ore play.

Waratah, which is planning to list on the Australian Securities Exchange, labeled the bid as "opportunistic" and that it "undervalues" the company.

Over the weekend, Mr Palmer's private investment vehicle, Mineralogy Pty Ltd, launched a bid to acquire a 50.1 per cent stake in Waratah by offering $C1.41 a share.

Waratah has proposed to develop a large scale mine, based on a thermal coal resource of more than 4 billion tonnes, in the Galilee Basin near the Central Queensland town of Alpha.

The company said the proposed mine would be linked by a railway line to a new coal terminal on the coast, which would be open to third party users and free up costly bottlenecks inhibiting Australia's coal industry.

Mineralogy, which is cashed up following sales of its WA iron ore tenements to companies such as Citic Pacific, reportedly holds a 19 per cent stake in Waratah.

The latest takeover bid follows Mr Palmer's plans to launch a $5 billion initial public offer to float Resources Development International Ltd later this year on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

In August, RDI launched a takeover bid for Perth-based Australasian Resources Ltd of which Mr Palmer already holds a 66.4 per cent interest.

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