IchorCoal, which already owns 29.9% of Universal Coal’s issued shares, proposed last month to acquire all outstanding shares in Universal, offering existing Universal shareholders A$0.16 for each ordinary share of the company at a cash offer of A$80.9 million.
Since being received, the IchorCoal offer has been reviewed in detail by a previously formed subcommittee of independent Universal Coal directors who concluded that the offer was highly conditional, inadequate and opportunistic, unanimously advising shareholders to take no action in respect of the offer.
Meanwhile, Universal Coal notes that since IchorCoal’s unsolicited takeover offer, it has been approached on a confidential basis by other parties who have expressed interest in making alternative offers.
In particular, Universal has received a written, non-binding indicative proposal for a cash offer at a price of A%0.20 per share from an unnamed party with existing exposure to the South African coal mining industry, which Universal’s independent directors consider credible.
In response to this, Universal has opened up a data room as a means for credible, interested alternative bidders to table rival offers.
Universal says the independent directors and their advisers continue to engage in discussions with the unnamed party and other credible interested parties to determine whether a formal alternative offer can be made.
As at 30 September, Universal Coal’s shares were quoted on the ASX at a closing price of A$0.18 per share, a 12.5% premium to the price of Ichor’s offer.