Chinese giant swallows Talbot’s stake in Sundance Resources
A DI VI S I ON of one of China’s largest private companies has emerged as the biggest shareholder in Sundance Resources Ltd after buying the late Ken Talbot’s stake.
Talbot Group, Mr Talbot’s investment vehicle, on Friday sold its 15.95 per cent stake – 433.79 million shares – in the Africa-focused iron ore explorer to Hanlong Mining.
The transaction was priced at 44c each, realising $ 19.08 million for the group.
Combined with Hanlong Mining’s existing stake in Sundance of 8 1 million shares, the Chinese firm now has a 19 per cent interest in Sundance.
Mr Talbot was among six Sundance executives killed last year in a plane crash en route to the Perth-based company’s Mbalam iron ore project straddling the republics of Congo and Cameroon.
Hanlong Mining is a part of industrial conglomerate Sichuan Hanlong Group, which operates across many industry sectors in China, including mining, energy, pharmaceuticals, high technology, food and beverage, industrial chemicals, infrastructure developme n t , tourism development and real estate.
Hanlong Mining already has a 56.8 per cent stake in Perth-based iron ore miner and molybdenum explorer Moly Mines Ltd, and last year unveiled plans to aggressively hunt for acquisitions in Australia in a bid to become ‘‘ the fourth force in iron ore’’.
Hanlong Mining chairman and head of iron ore Peter Mansell said the investment was consistent with the company’s strategy to be a significant investor in quality iron ore projects.
‘‘ We’re a financial investor and will be a supportive shareholder assisting the company to fast-track its infrastructure and mine development plans,’’ Mr Mansell, former chairman of West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd, said yesterday.
Sundance chairman George Jones said Hanlong Mining regarded the iron ore explorer as an attractive long-term investment.
‘‘ We perceive their investment positively,’’ Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones reiterated Sundance’s plan to get Mbalam into production in the next four years and said the investment by Mr Talbot had been the foundation to Sundance’s success during the past four years.
Mr Talbot made a fortune founding Macarthur Coal Ltd and bequeathed onethird of his estimated $ 960 million fortune to charity.
The share sale to Hanlong has sparked speculation Talbot Group may sell its 13.08 per cent interest in oil and gas explorer Karoon Gas Australia Ltd.
Talbot Group also has substantial interests in junior minerals explorers Robust Resources Ltd and Investigator Resources Ltd.
Shares in Sundance closed down 2c, or 4.08 per cent, at 47c yesterday.
The late Ken Talbot