Australian regulator stays out of Gina’s play for Atlas Iron
The Australian government’s Takeovers Panel has refused to get involved in the battle for control of struggling junior iron producer Atlas Iron.
The regulator said on Monday it had “declined to conduct proceedings” on an application it received from Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) subsidiary NCZ Investments regarding Gina Rinehart’s $390 million bid for Atlas (ASX:AGO).
NCZ Investments, which holds a 19.9 per cent stake in Atlas, called on the Takeovers Panel to stop Redstone, a subsidiary of Ms Rinehart’s privately owned Hancock Prospecting, from dispatching its bidder’s statement and releasing any other information.
The company also wanted the regulator to order the suitor to issue a replacement bidder’s statement and cancel any acquisition of shares by Hancock or Redstone since the takeover offer was announced.
NCZ Investments claimed the bidder’s statement contained “misleading statements and material omissions” regarding Redstone’s plans for Atlas.
After talks with the Takeovers Panel and ASIC, Redstone has agreed to include 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 condition.
“Given these developments the Panel concluded there was no reasonable prospect that it would make a declaration of unacceptable circumstances,” Takeovers Panel director Allan Bulman said.
“Accordingly, the Panel declined to conduct proceedings.”