Predator Eastern Field talks up its $178m Finders Resources bid
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A would-be suitor of Finders Resources says its $178 million hostile bid is attractive — and provides certainty to shareholders — as Finders directors continue to urge shareholders to take no action.
Consortium Eastern Field Developments released its Bidders Statement for Finders yesterday.
Earlier this month, the consortium slapped a $178 million hostile takeover bid on the table for the copper miner pricing its shares at 23c each.
Shares in Finders (ASX:FND) were trading above the 23c offer price hitting a high of 24.5c before closing at 23.5c after coming out of a trading halt today.
Eastern Field is seeking at least half of Finders shares. It already controls 19.8 per cent stake through shares held by Provident subsidiary Provident Minerals and Saratoga.
The jewel in the crown for Eastern Field is Finder’s sole project, the Wetar copper mine which lies on an island in eastern Indonesia.
In the Bidders Statement, the predator group — jointly owned by Provident Capital Partners, Saratoga Investama Sedaya and Merdeka Copper Gold — mapped out reasons why Finder’s shareholders should accept its offer.
First up, the offer represented an attractive premium to the volume weighted average price, up 7.6 per cent on 60-day VWAP.
Eastern Field also talked up its offer provided certain cash value for all shares with no transaction costs and no exposure to risks and uncertainties associated with a continuing investment in the company.
Sovereign risk of operating in Indonesia including possible mining legislation changes, foreign ownership restrictions and tax and royalty changes was also raised by the consortium.
Eastern Field warned if its offer was unsuccessful, Provident and Saratoga may look to divest all their Finders shares and withdraw from involvement in the company.
“If Provident Minerals and Saratoga elect to divest all their Finders shares then Finders shareholders may face increased Indonesian risks and uncertainties that could materially impair the value of the Finders shares,” Eastern Field said.
The consortium also warned if it takes control of Finders and does not proceed to compulsory acquisition, shareholders will become minority shareholders resulting in reduced liquidity and reduced ability to sell its shares.
Singapore-based investment company Provident’s subsidiary Provident Minerals has been on Finders share register since 2012 and has been an active supporter of Finders.
Provident has helped the company successfully achieve Indonesian regulatory approvals for Wetar and introduced leading Indonesian investment company Saratoga as a shareholder back in 2013.
Provident is also the founder of the other consortium partner Merdeka and still has a significant shareholding in the Indonesian copper-gold producer. Merdeka is operating and developing the massive Tujuh Bukit project in Indonesia.
Take no Action
Finders directors have reiterated their recommendation shareholders take no action to the bid at this stage.
“The independent Finders directors will evaluate the Offer and Eastern Field’s Bidder’s Statement and provide Finders shareholders with a recommendation in due course,” the company said.
The offer requires Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.