Dissident minority shareholders in Flinders Mines Ltd (ASX: FMS) succeeded in getting a meeting to vote on the proposed delisting of the company postponed to February 6.
This at least delays plans for New Zealand’s rich Todd family to privatise the Western Australian explorer which holds a large iron ore resource in the State’s Pilbara hinterland, known as the Pilbara Iron Ore Project (PIOP).
The West Australian newspaper reported that the extraordinary meeting of shareholders had been scheduled to vote on the proposal on tomorrow morning, but recent appeals to Australia’s Takeovers Panel prompted Flinders to reschedule the vote to Wednesday, February 6.
The company has also delayed its unmarketable parcel sales facility process until it gets clarity from the Takeover Panel.
Earlier this month the panel received two applications opposing the delisting of the company from its second-biggest shareholder, Chinese-backed entity OCJ, and another individual shareholder, Dubbo-based criminal lawyer Brendon Dunstan.
Flinders had announced plans to delist last month, citing low levels of liquidity in its trading, difficulty in accessing essential funding and the costs of remaining a listed entity.
The West said this news prompted a 50% slump in its share price and raised the ire of minority shareholders who view the proposal as a ploy by majority shareholder Todd Corporation to tighten its grip on the company by squeezing them out without having to pay what they see as the type of premium typically associated with a takeover.
However, as NZResources has reported that prior to and in the early days after successfully achieving a 55% stake in Flinders, the company had been languishing as a penny stock, with limited capital.
The West said unhappy shareholders recently launched a nationwide campaign, firing off missives to the Australian Securities Exchange, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the media and politicians to oppose the planned delisting.
The West Australian’s chief resource writer Stuart McKinnon said Todd’s majority holding in Flinders all but guarantees the delisting will go ahead if the proposal is put to a vote of shareholders.
However, the minority shareholders have vowed to explore every legal option to stop the delisting going ahead.
Sources: thewest.com.au; nzresources.com