18/06/2018 - 09:28

Rinehart lobs $390m offer for Atlas Iron

18/06/2018 - 09:28

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Gina Rinehart-led Hancock Prospecting has proposed a $390 million takeover offer for Atlas Iron, less than a week after purchasing a 19.9 per cent stake in the junior miner.

Rinehart lobs $390m offer for Atlas Iron
Atlas Iron had already received a $280 million takeover offer from Mineral Resources.

Gina Rinehart-led Hancock Prospecting has proposed a $390 million takeover offer for Atlas Iron, less than a week after purchasing a 19.9 per cent stake in the junior miner.

Under the deal, Hancock has offered an all-cash consideration of 4.2 cents per Atlas share.

The deal tops the $280 million all-scrip bid made by Mineral Resources back in April.

The offer comes after Andrew Forrest-led Fortescue Metals Group bought a 19.9 per cent blocking stake in Atlas, with Ms Rinehart following suit days later.  

The Atlas board has advised shareholders to take no action while the Hancock offer is assessed.

Hancock executive director Tad Watroba said Atlas’ assets have long-term synergies with Hancock’s portfolio.

“There is potential to unlock value through the future development of Atlas resources as part of our wider system of operations,” he said.

“If we obtain control of Atlas, we intend to conduct a strategic review to better understand the most appropriate time and means to develop and integrate Atlas into the existing operations of the Hancock Group.”

The offer is unconditional and is open for two weeks.

Atlas's assets include a stake in a joint venture that holds rights to potentially valuable undeveloped port capacity in Port Hedland.

The state government last week said any development application would be judged on merit as the berths are set aside for junior miners, which potentially rules out Hancock and Fortescue.

In response to today's offer, MinRes said it has the right to match the offer and was currently considering its position.

Ashurst is legal adviser so Hancock, while RFC Ambrian is its financial adviser. 

Shares in Atlas jumped 22.22 per cent on the news to be trading at 4.4 cents each at 330pm AEDT. 

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