Sinosteel, the Chinese steel trading company, has increased its stake in Midwest Corp to more than 90%, enabling it to force the sale of all outstanding shares in the Australian mining firm, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to a person close to the deal, Sinosteel crossed the 90% threshold after New York investment group Harbinger Capital Partners agreed to sell its holding of around 15%. Earlier on Monday, Sinosteel said it had an 82.7% stake in Midwest. The Chinese company’s bid was challenged by merger proposal from Midwest rival Murchison Metals. However, the merger floundered and last week Sinosteel agreed to buy Murchison’s 9.2% stake in Midwest. It is the first successful aggressive takeover by a Chinese firm. Previously, companies were content to become no more than passive investors in Australian mining projects.
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