South 32 prepares takeover defences

SOUTH 32, which houses BHP Billiton’s former Illawarra Coal business, has hired defence advisers to help fend off potential takeover attempts according to recent press speculation.
South 32 prepares takeover defences South 32 prepares takeover defences South 32 prepares takeover defences South 32 prepares takeover defences South 32 prepares takeover defences

 

Blair Price

Sources have told London’s Financial Times that S32 was working with Macquarie and Morgan Stanley in this regard with both investment banks not commenting on the matter.

“The move to hire advisers, which took place in the last several weeks, comes as miners had their stock prices knocked sharply by a fresh downturn in commodity prices,” the newspaper reported.

While Glencore was long seen as a potential suitor there are views that this mining and commodities trading house would view S32 as too expensive under the existing downturn.

Private equity group X2 Resources, led by former Xstrata CEO Mick Davis, reportedly had its offer for the S32 assets knocked back by BHP before it spun them off in the May float.

“X2 is in ‘serious’ talks with Rio Tinto about a multibillion-dollar offer to buy some of that miner’s Australian coal assets,” the newspaper reported last month.

S32 shares hit a daily low of $1.75 on Friday – 18% lower than their $2.13 debut in May.

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