AURIZON LAUNCHES $1.4B JOINT TAKEOVER

AURIZON LAUNCHES $1.4B JOINT TAKEOVER

AURIZON Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ) has lodged a $1.4 billion joint bid with a Chinese company to acquire all of the shares in Aquila Resources Limited (ASX:AQA).

The rail freight operator and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel) has offered $3.40 in cash per share in an off-market takeover.

“This proposal represents an unprecedented opportunity to co-develop world-class rail and port infrastructure in Australia, utilising Chinese and Australian capital, to deliver much needed Australian commodities to China.

Aurizon aims to achieve majority ownership, development and operation of multi-user port and rail infrastructure behind the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project.

Aurizon will acquire 15 per cent of Aquila if successful, while Baosteel will expand its existing 20 per cent stake with the remainder.

“We believe this is a compelling offer for Aquila shareholders as it provides an opportunity for them to realise certain value for their Aquila shares at a significant premium to current market prices through an all-cash offer - at a time of uncertainty of the funding and development pathway for Aquila’s suite of greenfield projects.

Western Australia-based Aquila also has a 50 per cent interest in the Eagle Downs Hard Coking Coal project in the Bowen Basin, expected to be completed in 2017.

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