Palmer blamed for “hijacked” BHP deal

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Mining magnate Clive Palmer may be forced to share the profits from his Yabulu nickel refinery after he “hijacked” a deal between Gladstone Pacific Nickel and its former owner BHP Billiton.

Palmer was a director at GPN in June 2009 when it was negotiating with BHP for the Yabulu refinery.

A month after negotiations between the two companies fell apart Palmer bought the refinery himself.

The Financial Review reports Palmer bought the project for less than $10 million.

The refinery then went on to deliver a $1.1 billion profit in its first year after the price of nickel spiked.

According to Fairfax Media, aggrieved GPN shareholder Robert Pearce wants to sue Palmer because he used his board position “to start negotiating on his own behalf”.

Pearce is alleging Palmer breached his duties as a GPN director and should be liable for the benefits he obtained.

Last year Palmer said Yabulu gave him “about $US250 million of beer money a year”.

In June 2009 GPN’s financial adviser Peter Freeman told the company’s managing director John Downie that Palmer had “hijacked the deal”.

Image: The Brisbane Times

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