Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) will very much remain in the headlines this week as the clock runs down on Anglo American plc’s £404mln takeover approach, which goes to a shareholder vote in just over a weeks’ time.
The week’s trading opens following more comments from activist hedge fund investor Crispin Odey who, in the weekend press, pledged to raise its shareholding in the company should market prices continue to slide.
On Monday, Sirius was down 0.38% with shares priced at 5.18p – below Anglo’s takeover price of 5.5p per share.
The Odey Asset Management was buying last week, with its interest in Sirius totting up to 1.3% by Friday, and, Crispin Odey was quite outspoken about the lack of value in Anglo American’s takeover pitch.
Earlier last week, Odey noted that Anglo American has not declared its offer for Sirius as a final offer “because there is a risk of both the deal failing at its current level and of an interloper at a later stage”.
According to Odey, the Anglo offer “does not represent fair value for shareholders”.
“It is Odey’s opinion that such an interloper would most likely appear between the date that Sirius shareholders vote on the proposed transaction, and the date of the court hearing,” the letter read.
A shareholder vote on the offer is planned for 3 March, with three-quarters of those voting needing to be in favour of the bid for it to be completed. A court hearing is expected to be before 20 March.
“The lack of ‘final’ offer, in Odey’s opinion, suggests that AngloAmerican would be willing to bid substantially more for Sirius, with the investment case remaining highly attractive for AngloAmerican, even at a materially higher bid level.”
Sirius’s management has, meanwhile, repeatedly cautioned shareholders that the company will fall into administration or liquidation within weeks if the recommended takeover offer is snubbed by shareholders.
Elsewhere, a group of private shareholders have set up an action group to raise £460mln in a bid to stop the takeover.
The cash injections, a stop-gap to create space for a longer-term project financing, would be raised through bonds offered to both institutional and private investors.