A major shareholder of Finders Resources is calling for a review of the takeover watchdog’s decision to ban it from accepting Eastern Field Developments offer.

Last week the Australian government’s Takeovers Panel handed down orders cancelling Taurus Funds Management’s acceptance of the takeover offer.

The regulator also ordered Eastern Field to give shareholders who accepted its offer from March 20 the option of withdrawing their acceptance.

The move came after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission intervened and called for the acceptances to be cancelled because Taurus went back on its word that it would not accept Eastern Field’s offer.

Eastern Field — which comprises Provident Minerals, Indonesian investment firm Saratoga and Indonesian copper-gold miner Merdeka — attained a majority shareholding in Finders in March after it was successful in its 23c-per-share hostile takeover bid.

Following news of the hostile takeover bid in October last year, Finder’s share price reached 27c – its highest point in almost 10 years. It is now trading at around 21.5c.

FND shares over the past decade.
FND shares over the past decade.

The consortium has now reached a stake of 94.11 per cent, but that includes Taurus’ 11.31 per cent shareholding which is still in doubt.

In early April, Eastern Field officially took control of the junior copper explorer with four board appointments and the exit of the chairman and managing director.

The new board’s goal now is to get the Wetar copper mine in Indonesia back on track.

Finders latest quarterly showed that it made around $46.7 million, but after production, staff and admin costs that was whittled down to $19.7 million.

The company had $20.3 million cash in the bank and $67.6 million worth of debt at the end of the March quarter.

The orders made by the Takeovers Panel have been stayed until the watchdog decides whether or not to conduct a review of the decision.

Eastern Field has again extended its offer, which is now due to close on May 2.