BHP Acquires 19 Percent Stake In Bell Resources
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd. said Monday it acquired voting rights to nearly 19 percent of the stock of Bell Resources Ltd., the company that has made a hostile bid for control of Broken Hill.
In an announcement to the Perth Stock Exchange, Broken Hill, Australia’s largest company, said it acquired the voting rights to 23.9 million Bell Resources shares by purchasing Bell Resources stock in exchange trading and by acquiring stock and stock options in private transactions.
Bell Resources, an investment company controlled by Perth entrepreneur Robert Holmes a Court, has offered the equivalent of about $2.5 billion to acquire about 52 percent of Broken Hill, a steel, mining and energy concern.
However, the bid so far has been stalled by court actions taken by Broken Hill, and analysts said the company’s purchases of Bell Resources stock is another move to curb the Holmes a Court threat.
Specifically, analysts said Broken Hill might be able to use its Bell Resources stock to help defeat a proposal by Bell Resources to raise funds for the Broken Hill bid by issuing additional shares.
Bell Resources’ stockholders were scheduled to vote Tuesday on the proposal, which requires 75 percent approval by the holders.