Lion ups bid after ASIC bars relief

After ASIC barred an attempt to remove a key condition from its Polaris takeover bid, Lion-Asia Resources yesterday made a last-ditch effort to trump rival Mineral Resources by raising its offer to 74 cents per share.

Lion-Asia Resources last night upped the ante in its attempted takeover of Polaris Metals to 74 cents per share, after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) refused its bid to remove the 50.1% minimum acceptance condition from the offer.

The company applied to ASIC for relief to have the condition removed from the offer last Friday.

As reported in MINING DAILY yesterday, the company was hoping to declare the offer unconditional before rival bidder Mineral Resources’ offer closes tomorrow.

It was believed that ASIC would grant the relief, which would have enabled Polaris shareholders a more certain choice between the two bids.

In a statement released last night, Lion said it was disappointed with the decision and had lodged an application with the Takeovers Panel to review it.

“Lion also intends to increase its offer for Polaris shares to 74 cents cash, irrespective of the outcome of the application,” the company said.

According to Lion, the revised offer represents a 147% premium to Polaris’ 30 cent share price on 14 August, which was the last day of trading prior to the announcement of Mineral Resources’ offer.

On 11 November, Minerals Resources tabled a revised offer of one share for every 10 Polaris shares and included a cash component of five cents.

This offer is currently valued at 78.3 cents, according to yesterday’s closing prices.

Polaris has recommended the Mineral Resources offer and Heron Resources has agreed already to sell its 19.9% stake to that bid.

Lion-Asia had previously offered 70 cents per share all-cash.

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