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Regulations stall Murchison bid

MURCHISON United’s bid to acquire significant copper assets has fallen foul of regulations on the London Alternative Invest-ment Market, where the company is dual-listed.

The Perth-based company’s shares have been suspended from AIM trading following last month’s announcement of a bid for a 49 per cent stake in Somincor, which holds target acquisition, copper miner Neves Corvo.

Murchison’s disclosure of its plans has satisfied Australian Stock Exchange regulations governing significant transac-tions and the company continues to trade here.

However, an AIM reverse takeover provision was trigger-ed when it was revealed that the value of the acquisition, still under negotiation, was greater than Murchison’s own existing gross assets.

The provision requires an admission document containing full transaction details including the descriptions of assets involved and the impact on the company.

The document is required for the benefit of AIM shareholders, who must approve the deal.

Murchison United managing director Paul Atherley said the negotiations were part of a competitive tender process and until this process was completed, the company would not have all the information required for the admission document.

Carmichael First Capital senior manager for corporate finance Michael Soucik valued the difference between Murchison’s assets and the acquisition at $A50 million.

Mr Soucik confirmed if a company was not prepared to disclose the amount of a large transaction or if parts of the transaction were governed by confidentiality, a company would not be able to provide the detail required in an AIM admission document.

Murchison has said it will not be able to provide required transaction details until mid-December at least, but was working on alternative arrangements for AIM shareholders to be able to trade through the ASX.

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