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Terracom tells takeover target Universal's board to get out of the way


Brisbane coal-miner Terracom now has 59 per cent of the voting shares in takeover target Universal and urged the company’s board to stop its bid to frustrate the offer.

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But Universal has fired back with an independent expert’s report saying the offer is neither fair nor reasonable.

Universal claims the offer undervalues the company.

“The cash consideration payable by TerraCom BidCo under the unsolicited bid has not been independently verified by a third party and, given TerraCom’s publicly stated financial obligations, it therefore remains unclear how TerraCom BidCo would fund the cash component of the consideration under the Unsolicited Bid from TerraCom’s cash reserves,” Universal said.

Terracom, which owns the Blair Athol coal mine in central Queensland,  offered 10c a share in cash and approximately 0.6 new TerraCom shares for each Universal share held on February 3.

That valued Universal at 33.5c.

But the offer was contested by Universal, which owns thermal coal projects in South Africa.

Terracom deputy chairman Craig Ransley said the company was happy with the response.

“This means that the result of all ordinary resolutions put forward by Universal are under the direct control of Terracom,” Ransley said.

He said since the opening of the offer on February 12 there had been continual supply of acceptances.

The offer was impacted by an interim stop order from ASIC which was lifted earlier this month, but Terracom remains concerned by Universal’s legal action to thwart the offer.

“As a major shareholder in Universal, the Terracom board is concerned about the extent of shareholder funds being consumed on actions the company believes are an attempt to frustrate the offer,” Ransley said.

“We would hope recent world events would guide the Universal team to focus on reason and direct shareholder funds to a stronger whole, positioned to ride out the storm, not advisory fees and personal surety.”


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