Prospective deep sea miner Nautilus Minerals has denied reports of a hostile takeover bid for the company, raising speculation it may have fallen victim to a stock market hoax.
According to a report on Market Watch yesterday minority shareholder Michael Bailey launched the takeover bid, but The Australian reports the law firm rumoured to be representing Bailey has denied involvement.
The confusion raised speculation the Toronto-listed miner may have fallen victim to a takeover hoax, just days after an environmentalist prank caused Whitehaven Coal stocks to temporarily shed over $300 million.
In a statement Nautilus said it had not been in contact with Bailey or any party controlled by him regarding a takeover bid.
“Nautilus is therefore unable to make any determinations regarding the offer or its validity,” it said.
In a media statement posted on PRWeb, a website not officially linked to the Toronto Stock Exchange or any company controlled by Bailey, the takeover is alleged to be led by “Michael Bailey and his family office”.
“The family office controlled solely by Mr Bailey currently owns a minority stake in the company and is now making a hostile bid to acquire 100 per cent of the outstanding company stock with the intention of taking the company private to finance and execute the underwater mining business plan,” the release says.