Battle for Polaris has a winner

Minerals Resources has emerged victorious over Lion-Asia Resources in the long-running bidding war to acquire junior explorer Polaris Metals.

The bidding war for Polaris Metals has reached its conclusion after Minerals Resources (MRL) yesterday announced it had acquired approximately 51.29% of the target’s shares.

Rival bidder Lion-Asia Resources had a minimum acceptance condition of 50.1% written into its 74 cent all-cash offer, which can now not be completed.

According to a statement from Polaris, shareholders will not receive payment under the Lion-Asia offers as they are currently constituted.

“Minerals Resources has confirmed that it does not intend to accept the Lion Asia offer,” the junior explorer said.

Lion-Asia last month unsuccessfully applied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to have minimum acceptance condition removed from the offer.

Reports indicate that the company currently holds around of 25% Polaris’ shares.

Heron Resources, which had already agreed to sell its 19.9% stake to MRL, has stated it also intends to exercise its 14 million options.

Polaris managing director Ken Hellsten said the milestone was an outstanding result for the company’s shareholders.

“By accepting the offer, shareholders have realised significant value for their Polaris shares,” he said.

“They also have the opportunity to participate in the development of Polaris’ assets as part of a larger, financially robust MRL Group.

“The board is extremely pleased with the outcome and the executive team is now looking forward to accelerating development of the company’s iron ore projects with MRL.

“The board unanimously recommends that all Polaris shareholders and optionholders accept the MRL takeover offer for their securities without delay.”

MRL is unconditionally offering a single share for every 10 Polaris shares as well as a 10 cent cash component for each Polaris share.

“We are pleased to have reached this milestone in the takeover process and welcome the new shareholders to the company,” the company’s chairman Peter Wade said.

“Shareholders of both companies now a substantial opportunity to benefit from the development of the Polaris iron ore assets and the success of our current business and future opportunities.”

The company’s bid closes tomorrow, unless further extended.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.