Aquila Resources has hinted it is unlikely to quickly roll over on Baosteel and Aurizon's takeover offer, telling shareholders yesterday it believed the bidders would need to extend their offer at least once before it was resolved.
Aurizon and Baosteel launched their pitch to Aquila shareholders yesterday, describing their $3.40-a-share offer as "compelling". The duo suggested shareholders accept the offer or risk dilution down the track if Aquila's $500 million cash backing was not sufficient to cover its estimated joint venture obligations for development of the Eagle Downs metallurgical project in Queensland or the far bigger West Pilbara iron ore project.
Aquila is yet to respond to the claims and yesterday indicated it was in no hurry to do so.
Aurizon and Baosteel yesterday lodged their bidder's statement with the Australian Securities Exchange but are yet to start the process of sending the documents to Aquila shareholders.
The offer does not open until the bidder's statement has been despatched. Aquila said it did not expect that to happen until later this month.
It is also conditional on approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and Aquila said that made it "likely the offer period could be extended".
Aquila recommended its holders take no action until an independent expert report had been prepared.
The company said it had appointed an external consultant to prepare a report for shareholders and an independent board committee would make its recommendation when that had been received and considered.
A target's statement would be released "in sufficient time for all shareholders to make an informed decision" on the offer.
Aquila chairman Tony Poli is still yet to make any public comment but Aquila corporate and finance boss Martin Alciaturi indicated yesterday the independent board committee felt no pressure to rush their decision on whether to recommend or reject the unsolicited bid, saying it would be released "in due course".
"Reviewing and responding to a takeover proposal requires extensive consideration," he said.
Aquila shares were up 1Â¢ to $3.52. 'compelling' bid $3.40 The price per share offered for Aquila by joint bidders Baosteel and Aurizon