21/11/2006 - 14:56

Usmanov buys into Aztec for $23.3m

21/11/2006 - 14:56

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A few days after acquiring 19.9 per cent of Mount Gibson Iron Ltd, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has made a move to acquire 6.9 per cent of takeover target Aztec Resources Ltd, at a cost of $23.3 million.

Usmanov buys into Aztec for $23.3m

A few days after acquiring 19.9 per cent of Mount Gibson Iron Ltd, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has made a move to acquire 6.9 per cent of takeover target Aztec Resources Ltd, at a cost of $23.3 million.

Usmanov's investment vehicle Gallagher Holdings announced it would acquire 77.7 million shares from Australian Royalties Corporation Ltd, which was issued the shares last month in a deal to remove caveats that stood in the way of a refinancing arrangement.

The acquisition adds to the intrigue surrounding Mount Gibson's hostile takeover bid for Aztec, and follows Hong Kong company Shanghai Merchants also acquiring a stake in both companies.

Gallagher released a statement earlier today to clarify its position in relation to the Mount Gibson takeover offer for Aztec.

"Gallagher confirms that, subject only to Aztec directors recommending that Aztec shareholders accept the offer, (in the absence of a better offer), Gallagher will accept the offer in relation to all of the Aztec shares within five trading days after satisfaction of this condition," the company said in an announcement

"Save as set out in this letter, Gallagher reserves its rights to accept the offer, and to otherwise deal with the Aztec shares in such a manner as it considers appropriate."

The deal would have to pass the scrutiny of the Foreign Investment Review Board, Aztec managing director Peter Bilbe told WA Business News.

If the deal does go through, ARC stands to make around $5.8 million for the sale of stocks it will have held for little over a month.

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