The Panel has today published the reasons for its decision in the matter of Cobra Resources Limited.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) applied to the Panel on 16 May 2003. The application was made in connection to various announcements by Mr Terry Stephens of his intention to make a takeover bid for all the shares in Cobra, and a document provided by Mr Stephens as a bidder's statement. ASIC submitted, amongst other things, that there were material deficiencies with the disclosure in the Bidder's Statement and the proposed takeover.
The Panel announced its decision on 23 May 2003. It considered that it was likely that the announcements and bidder's statement contravened various sections of Chapter 6 of the Corporations Act. They created confusion in the market for Cobra shares and frustrated the principle that the acquisition of control over the voting shares in a listed company take place in an efficient, competitive and informed market.
The Panel declared that there were unacceptable circumstances in relation to the affairs of Cobra. It made orders by consent that Mr Stephens not proceed with the bid, and not make or announce any other bid for Cobra, until he had lodged a fresh bidder's statement with ASIC, and been informed by ASIC senior staff that ASIC had accepted the document.
The Panel said that in the interests of efficient, competitive and informed markets, persons announcing or commencing public takeovers will normally require proper, experienced advice.
The Panel comprised Kevin McCann, John King and Teresa Handicott.
The reasons are available on the Panel's website.
Director, Takeovers Panel
Level 47 Nauru House, 80 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9655 3501