Forrest fuels another nickel bidding war – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – January 26, 2022)

Billionaire Andrew Forrest has raised his stake in takeover target Western Areas in a move that confirms suspicions he will try to complicate IGO Group’s friendly takeover of the nickel miner.

Dr Forrest’s private company Wyloo Metals spent $31.4 million buying Western Areas shares on Friday and Monday at an average price of just under $3.43 per share. That valuation is above the IGO offer price of $3.36 per share, which the Western Areas board supported shortly before Christmas.

The buying binge raised Wyloo’s stake from 6.29 per cent to 9.14 per cent. Western Areas shareholders will vote on IGO’s offer proposal at a meeting in April and IGO requires 75 per cent of shares to be cast in favour at that meeting for the offer to succeed.

That means Dr Forrest either needs to continue growing his stake in Western Areas if he wants to directly block IGO, or convince other Western Areas shareholders to oppose or abstain from the vote.

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