Flinders Mines postpones delisting due to shareholder backlash

Flinders Mines has postponed its delisting from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to deal with applications made to the Takeovers Panel by shareholders who disagree with the company’s plans.

The company announced plans to go private in December by entering an on-market buyback using a loan from major shareholder, Todd Corporation, which it would then pay back with a non-renounceable rights issue following completion of the buyback.

New Zealand-based Todd previously tried to acquire Flinders Mines in March 2016 for $38.15 million (1.3 cents per share), an offer it then improved in May 2016 to $73.2 million (2.5 cents per share), a 92 per cent increase on the initial bid.

Although Todd did not gain control of Flinders Mines, it is by far the largest shareholder with 55.6 per cent.

Flinders has struggled in recent years on the ASX — the company hit a recent high of 10 cents per share in May 2018 and a historic high of 28 cents per share in March 2012, but currently sits at just 3 cents per share.

The company stated that the delisting was in the best interests of shareholders due to a lack of support from public markets, low levels of liquidity, high listing costs, and concentrated shareholding.

Flinders’ delisting plans hit a snag when two prominent shareholders, company OCJ and individual Brendon Dunstan, sent applications to the Takeovers Panel opposing the delisting.

The company was scheduled to hold a shareholder meeting on January 22, but this meeting has since been postponed, as has the January 29 cut off for the receipt of share retention forms from shareholders with unmarketable parcels (i.e. a collection of shares worth less than $500).

Flinders Mines yesterday stated in a quarterly report that these dates would be changed to whichever comes later between February 6 and the date the Takeovers Panel concludes its proceedings.

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