Aurizon, Baosteel achieve 90% relevant interest in Aquila

Companies will compulsorily acquire Aurizon, sealing the $1.4bn takeover of junior miner.

Aurizon (AZJ) and China’s Baosteel will move to compulsorily acquire Aquila Resources after the consortium's relevant interest in the takeover target rose above the 90% threshold.

The announcement all but puts an end to the long and drawn out battle for Aquila, with the suitors' $1.4bn takeover of the junior iron ore and coal miner set to progress.

Baosteel and Aurizon now have a 90.05% relevant interest in Aquila.

Baosteeel Resources chairman Zhihao Dai said the group was looking forward to "working with Aurizon, state and federal governments, and Aquila’s joint venture partners to progress the development of the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project and the Eagle Downs Hard Coking Coal Project, for the benefit of both Australia and China."

Aurizon chief executive Lance Hockridge said the acquisition provided an unprecedented opportunity for Aurizon to participate in the development of new, world-class rail and port infrastructure for a range of potential customers.

Last week, Aquila chairman Tony Poli accepted the offer for his entire 28.92% stake and resigned, along with two other directors. Aurizon and Baosteel appointed four nominees to the Aquila board.

Aquila co-founder Charles Bass also said he would accept and Mineral Resources, which holds a 12.8% stake in Aquila, said today that it would accept the the $3.40 per share offer, after dropping its rival takeover bid last month.

The bidders said the extension on the offer period to July 25 remained unchanged.