Miners face unhappy shareholders and hostile takeovers
Mining & Resources
Unrest is rife in the resources sector at the moment with a number of companies facing push back from shareholders and joint venture partners.
Nigeria-focused iron ore play Kogi Iron (ASX:KFE) has been told that a group of shareholders with a collective 5 per cent stake wants three directors evicted.
The shareholder group plans to move a resolution at a general meeting to have chief Martin Wood and non-executive directors Don Carroll and Michael Tilley removed from the board.
Mr Wood only took on the role of CEO in January.
Kogi plans to build a cast steel plant on the Agbaja Plateau in Kogi State, Nigeria that would be supplied from its nearby iron ore deposits.
The company spent around $809,000 in the March quarter and $273,000 of that was on admin and corporate costs.
Kogi now estimates its admin and corporate costs for the June quarter will rise to $510,000 and that it will spend roughly $1.4 million, including exploration.
The company had about $2.1 million in cash and no debt at the end of the March quarter.
Kogi’s share price slipped nearly 4 per cent to 12.5c on Thursday morning.
Stockhead is seeking comment from the company.
Takeover battles continue
Meanwhile, mineral sands miner Mineral Deposits (ASX:MDL) is urging shareholders to reject French partner Eramet’s $1.46-per-share all-cash takeover bid.
Eramet wants to gain full control of a 50-50 mineral sands joint venture called “TiZir” in Senegal and Norway.
Chairman Nic Lamb said in a letter to shareholders today that “Eramet’s opportunistic, unsolicited and conditional offer comes at a time when the TiZir joint venture is operating at or near record highs and is expected to deliver ongoing strong, sustainable operating performance”.
“The board’s strong view is that Eramet’s current offer deprives shareholders of the full value of their investment in MDL.
“This view is shared by a number of MDL’s largest shareholders who have publicly stated that Eramet’s present bid is too low.”
Mineral Deposits share price was up 1.6 per cent on Thursday morning at $1.60.
Bauxite Resources (ASX:BAU) also continues to face a hostile takeover bid and has had to concede that a recent shareholder vote against a proportional takeover bid by Mercantile Investment (ASX:MVT) is not legally enough to stop the play for the company.
At the vote on March 23, Bauxite said more than 99 per cent of eligible shareholders who voted, did so against the proposal.
Mercantile has been savage in its pursuit of the company since November – and has most recently advised that it did not consider the rejection by shareholders as binding.
Bauxite sought legal advice and was told that it is “unlikely the proportional takeover provisions adopted at the general meeting will be applicable to the Mercantile bid retrospectively due to the uncertainty that such a position would create for market participants”.
This means Bauxite has no choice but the allow the transfers for the acceptances made so far.
Sir Ron Brierley’s Mercantile launched an initial bid of 9c per share in November and later increased it to 11c per share — but so far it only has a 16.5 per cent stake.
Mercantile is only after 50 per cent of Bauxite’s shares.
Bauxite again urged shareholders to reject Mercantile’s offer.