Bumper pay day for ConsMin after offloading BC Iron stake

Thirty months after it won a messy fight for control of the biggest stake in Pilbara exporter BC Iron, Consolidated Minerals has exited the stock with more than a 16-fold return on its initial investment.

Thirty months after it won a messy fight for control of the biggest stake in Pilbara exporter BC Iron, Consolidated Minerals has exited the stock with more than a 16-fold return on its initial investment.

The $111 million transaction was completed on Thursday night and has delivered a handsome pay day for ConsMin, which is controlled by Ukrainian billionaire Gennadiy Bogolyubov.

The buyers are unknown at this stage, but BC believes a mix of institutional investors have paid $3.90 per share via a sale process run by Macquarie.

The stock was fetching $4 on Friday afternoon, well below its record high of $4.50 on Monday.

ConsMin was the biggest shareholder in BC for most of its seven-year history, after it vended some Pilbara tenements into the company that listed on the ASX in late 2006.

BC's first days on the ASX saw the stock fetch about 24ยข, meaning the value of ConsMin's stake had increased more than 18-fold by the time it hit this week's record high.

ConsMin has also received more than $12 million in dividend flows from BC over the past 13 months, thanks to the miner's consistently strong performance and generous dividend policy.

The success of BC has vindicated ConsMin's decision to fight Hong Kong fund manager Regent Pacific when it sought to take over BC in 2011. BC Iron managing director Morgan Ball said the ease of the selldown showed the high regard in which BC was held.

"The fact Macquarie was able to get away a parcel of that size speaks wonders for us in terms of the institutional view of us," he said.

The exit inevitably raises the question of whether the peak of the BC Iron journey has now passed.

Mr Ball assured shareholders there was a strong chance the 2014 financial year would be better for the company than the previous year's, given its joint venture with Fortescue would export 20 per cent more iron ore this year.

"We have derisked the project and we are very comfortable that we will ship the full 6 million tonnes in full-year 2014," he said.

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