The Takeovers Panel today advises that it has ordered that 2.7 million shares in Taipan Resources that were acquired by St Barbara Mines on 12 October 2000 be vested in ASIC for sale. The Panel had previously declared that St Barbara Mines caused unacceptable circumstance and breached section 606 of the Corporations Law by acquiring 4 million shares in Taipan Resources on 12 October 2000. St Barbara thereby increased Strata Mining Corporation's voting power in Taipan to more than 20%. An application for the declaration was made by Troy Resources on Tuesday 13 February. Troy is also bidding for Taipan.
The Panel ordered that 2.7 million Taipan shares - the number of shares by which St Barbara's acquisition caused Strata's voting power to exceed 20%, be vested in ASIC. The Panel ordered that:
- ASIC retain a broker to sell the shares by tender to the highest bidder
- the shares not be acquired by St Barbara, Strata Mining, or any of their associates
- the shares must be sold no later than 5.00pm on the date prior to the close of St Barbara's takeover bid, currently 20 March 2001
- ASIC return the net proceeds of sale to St Barbara
- if Taipan offers to buy back and cancel the shares at a price equal to or greater than the highest bid received for the shares, ASIC may sell the shares to Taipan
The Panel's previous media release of 23 February 2001 noted that the application raised other concerns, asserting that St Barbara is associated with various other persons who have recently dealt in Taipan shares, and the consequences if these associations were made out. The Panel invited ASIC to make some further enquiries in relation to these elements. ASIC has now advised the Panel that it has been unable to find evidence to support those concerns. The Panel has therefore decided not to consider those issues any further.
The Panel for this matter is Prof. Ian Ramsay, Denis Byrne and Trevor Rowe.
Director, Corporations and Securities Panel
Level 47 Nauru House, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9655 3501