Waratah takeover nears completion

MINERALOGY, a private company backed by Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer, has snapped up 73.2% of the issued shares of Waratah Coal under its recent offer of $C1.60 per share, taking its ownership to 90.7% of the issued and outstanding shares.
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The Galilee Basin.

Blair Price

After seizing some 44.87 million shares since Mineralogy’s takeover offer at the start of the month, Waratah said this morning it had extended the deadline for acceptance until 5pm Vancouver time on January 5.

“After the expiry of the offer, Mineralogy intends to enter into one or more transactions to enable it or one of its affiliates to acquire all of the shares not deposited pursuant to the offer for the same consideration as provided under the offer,” Waratah said.

With the takeover coming closer to completion, Waratah said pursuant to the earlier support agreement, it has “waived its shareholder rights plan in respect of the offer” with Mineralogy and caused the vesting and expiry date of all options to purchase the company’s shares to be accelerated.

“Accordingly, all options were either exercised or expired immediately prior to the initial expiry time of the offer, which was 11.59pm (Vancouver time) on December 15, 2008,” Waratah said.

Mineralogy executive chairman and founder Clive Palmer said: “We are very pleased that so many shareholders have seen the value in our offer and elected to tender their shares. Now we plan to bring our experience to bear to help Waratah realise its full potential.”

Waratah chief executive Peter Lynch supported Palmer’s statement.

“Waratah’s management team and I are really looking forward to working with Professor Palmer and the Mineralogy team to build a stronger Waratah Coal,” he said.

The coal junior has been seeking a partner to develop a new 25 million tonne per annum coal mine, 500km of rail and a new port, worth $A5.3 billion, in the Galilee Basin in Queensland.

The company, which is listed on both the Australian Securities Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange, anticipates the project will be one of the largest thermal coal projects in Australia.

Waratah shares were unchanged at $1.75 on the ASX this morning.