Sinosteel Gearing Up to Takeover Midwest

Submitted by Craig Strzelecki on 6 June, 2008 - 10:58

Chinese steelmaking giant Sinosteel Corporation is finally edging nearer to takeover management of control of Midwest Corporation (MIS). Sinosteel has made significant changes in a notice to its shareholders stating that it now has voting stake of 33.82 percent in Midwest Corporation which means it owns nearly one-third voting power in Midwest. It raised its stake in Midwest to 28.37 percent which is about 20 percent higher than its previous bid.

It was reported on Thursday that a Malaysian company, Vital Rays Investments, that held 7.6 percent stakes in Midwest sold its shares to Sinosteel for $6.38 per share. Sinosteel also stated that it shall be purchasing more Midwest shares through its broker JP Morgan Chase Securities for price at or below its offer $6.38 per share offer as a part of its take over bid. Sinosteel is currently competing with Murchison Metals for a takeover bid of the Australian iron ore miner.

Meanwhile, Sinosteel has also taken legal steps to prevent its rivals to buy any more shares of the Australian iron ore miner. It has raised objections against US based Harbinger Capital from buying any shares in Midwest. It has asserted that since Harbinger is the largest shareholder of Murchison Metal (MMX) and is a group linked to the company, its recent purchases breach the law. It also alleged that Harbinger and Murchison are acting in association to accumulate their stakes in Midwest that would eventually benefit Murchison Metal to merge with Midwest. It has complained to Australian Takeovers Panel to force Harbinger to sell its 9 percent stake in Midwest. However, the panel has yet not decided it course of action whether it will investigate the allegations.

Sinosteel has made its final and unconditional offer for the take over as $6.38 cash per share after Midwest agreed to merge with Murchison to form more than $3 billion entity. Midwest’s board has also recommended its shareholders to accept Sinosteel’s offer which ends on June 13.

Midwest Corporation (MIS) shares traded 6 cents down at $6.73 at yesterday’s close. Murchison Metals (MMX) was also down 5 cents at $4.05 and finally closed one cent down at $4.11.