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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Noble Group trumps Exxaro bid for Australia's Territory

MELBOURNE - Shares of Australian iron ore miner Territory Resources soared as much as 8.5 per cent on Thursday after commodities firm Noble Group made a A$132.6 million (US$140.8 million) bid, trumping an offer from South African miner Exxaro.

The offer of A$0.50 a share from Hong Kong-based Noble Group, which already owns 30 per cent of Territory, is 9 per cent better than Exxaro's bid and 6 per cent above Territory's last closing price.
'By making this offer to secure our holding in Territory, we aim to ensure that its attention on growth will not in future run the risk of being deflected by any more opportunistic corporate actions,' Noble said.

Territory Resources had no immediate comment.

At 0101 GMT, its shares traded up 8.5 per cent at A$0.51 per share.

Exxaro, one of South Africa's largest coal miners, launched its offer last month as part of a plan to buy several iron ore asset and eventually produce 10 million tonnes a year of the steel-making ingredient.
Analysts said Exxaro's bid, pitched at a 64 per cent premium to Territory's share price at the time, was expensive given the short three-to-five-year life span of Territory's mine in Australia's Northern Territory.

Noble is being advised by Investec. Exxaro is being advised by RMB Corporate Finance, a unit of South Africa's FristRand and Greenhill Caliburn. Azure Capital is advising Territory. -- REUTERS

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