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Sundance takeover hits fresh delay

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SYDNEY, Feb 7 AAP

February 07 2013, 7:06PM

The on-again, off-again $1.4 billion takeover bid for Sundance Resources has hit a fresh delay.

Beijing has ordered suitor Hanlong Group to line up a Chinese partner to help develop the Mbalam iron ore project in west Africa before final approval can be sewn up.

Sundance reported to the Australian stock exchange on Thursday that the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission has extended provisional approval for Hanlong's acquisition by six months until July 30.

The extension was granted on condition that Hanlong entered into an agreement with a Chinese corporation "with sufficient capability to undertake the Mbalam-Nabeba project with Hanlong".

The $4.7 billion iron ore project straddles the border between the Congo and Cameroon.

Sundance said it understood that Hanlong must sufficiently advance such an agreement with a large Chinese partner for the China Development Bank to issue its Credit Approved Term Sheet for the Hanlong acquisition.

In September 2010, Sundance Resources signed a memorandum of understanding with CRCC China-Africa Construction, which outlined construction plans for a 490-kilometre railway linking the planned iron ore mines to a proposed port.

Shares in Sundance Resources are in a trading halt, last trading at 34, a significant discount to the 45 offer price.