The Takeovers Panel has dismissed an application from Fortescue Metals Group questioning the veracity of Hancock Prospecting’s $390 million bid for Atlas Iron.
Last week, Fortescue subsidiary NCZ Investments submitted an application claiming the bidder’s statement lodged by Hancock subsidiary Redstone had misleading statements and contained material omissions regarding its intentions for Atlas’s operations.
Hancock lodged a supplementary bidder’s statement following Fortescue’s application and the panel said the revised statement provided sufficient clarification.
“Following discussions with the panel and Asic, Redstone has agreed to incorporate disclosures from its supplementary bidder's statement in a replacement bidder’s statement (including further information in relation to its intentions) and clarify the operation of the bid's conditions,” the panel said in a statement.
“Given these developments, the panel concluded there was no reasonable prospect that it would make a declaration of unacceptable circumstances.
“Accordingly, the panel declined to conduct proceedings.”
Fortescue was seeking interim orders restraining Redstone from dispatching its bidder’s statement and releasing any other information regarding the bid while the panel considered the application.
The group also wanted Hancock and Redstone to be prevented from acquiring, directly or indirectly, any further shares until further and corrective disclosure was released.
Final orders were also being sought including that Redstone provide corrective disclosure by way of a replacement bidder’s statement and cancelling and unwinding any acquisitions in Atlas shares by Hancock during the period in which NCZ claims the market was misinformed.
Fortescue's attack on Hancock comes after it opposed an earlier bid for Atlas by Chris Ellison's Mineral Resources.
The sitting panel was Peter Day (sitting president), Diana Nicholson and Karen Phin.
Shares in Atlas were flat at 4.3 cents each at 1240pm AEDT.