Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Alienation of affections in Aussie coal world

Gloucester Coal Ltd is an Australian mining company that announced on February 20th its plan to merge with a another such company, Whitehaven Coal.

Noble Group, a commodity trading concern based in Hong Kong, is a 21.7% shareholder of Gloucester, and is unhappy with the deal -- in effect though not in form, it is a takeover of Glocester by Whitehaven.

Anyway, for reasons that aren't clear to me, the planned Glocester/Whitehaven transaction doesn't require shareholder approval. Noble doesn't have the opportunity, then, to duisrupt the deal through a proxy contest.

It has found another route to express its dissatisfaction, though. On February 27, Noble announced its own bid for Gloucesterm at a price of Aus$4.85 per share, advising that the proposal "is subject to the Gloucester Coal bid for Whitecastle not proceeding and certain other prescribed occurrences not occurring" (in the words of a Gloucester press release).

So far, Gloucester's response is simply "we're thinking about it." Or, rather, in press release language, they are "considering the proposal and will respond on it in due course."

Love the preposition "on" in that context? Rather than, say, "to"?

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