Court order delays payment

ORDERS handed down on Wednesday by the Federal Court of Australia will delay a compensation payment which takeover disputes forum the Takeovers Panel ordered Glencore to make to Austral shareholders.

Staff Reporter

The Federal Court granted a stay of the panel's orders until further order of the court. This means the payment will be delayed until at least February next year, subject to the court's final decision on the application by Glencore for review of the panel's decision.

This month, the Takeovers Panel ruled Glencore must pay $A1.32 million in compensation to Austral shareholders over its use of cash-settled swaps during the Austral Coal takeover. While the panel argues this meant shareholders were effectively trading in an uninformed market, Glencore has said it did nothing illegal.

The Takeovers Panel originally declared unacceptable circumstances and ordered Glencore sell back part of its holding in Austral, a decision which was thrown out by the Federal Court when Glencore appealed.

This has left Centennial with a holding of 86% in Austral and unable to move to 90% and compulsory acquisition of Austral.

Glencore has agreed to pay interest on the $1.32 million from November 21 until it makes its payment, should the appeal be unsuccessful.

The court’s hearing of Glencore’s application for review of the panel’s decision will take place in February next year.