Panel Commences Limited Proceedings in Further Application in Relation to St Barbara's Proposed Bid for Taipan Resources [23/02/2001] The Takeovers Panel

Friday, 23 February 2001

Panel Commences Limited Proceedings in Further Application in Relation to St Barbara's Proposed Bid for Taipan Resources

The Takeovers Panel today advises that it has decided to commence limited proceedings in relation to an application for a declaration of unacceptable circumstances in relation to events leading up to and concerning the proposed bid by St Barbara Mines for Taipan Resources. The application was made by Troy Resources on Tuesday 13 February. Troy is also bidding for Taipan.

The Panel has initially decided to consider only the first allegation of the application:

  • that St Barbara breached section 606 by increasing Strata Mining Corporation's voting power in Taipan to more than 20% on 12 October 2000 when St Barbara acquired 4 million shares in Taipan;

The other elements of the application are that St Barbara is associated with various other persons who have recently dealt in Taipan shares, and the consequences if these associations are made out.

Some of the elements of Troy's application have previously been raised with both the Panel and ASIC. At present they are not clearly substantiated, and the further evidence that may still be required in this case is significant. The Panel considered that it would be inappropriate for it to commence its own inquiries in this particular case, where it is one of ASIC's primary functions to carry out inquiries into allegations such as these. The Panel decided that that evidence would be most appropriately gathered by ASIC under its broad and flexible enquiry powers.

The Panel has therefore invited ASIC to make further enquiries into the other allegations raised by Troy and requested ASIC to advise it of any further evidence that it uncovers relevant to those allegations. The Panel recognises ASIC's need to prioritise its resource use, and considers that the proposed enquiries will be a limited and justifiable call on those resources. If the evidence persuades the Panel that there is reasonable substance to the allegations, the Panel will then consider these issues. However, unless such evidence is forthcoming, the Panel will not consider the other issues raised by Troy's application.

The Panel for this matter is Prof. Ian Ramsay, Denis Byrne and Trevor Rowe.

Nigel Morris
Director, Corporations and Securities Panel
Level 47 Nauru House, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9655 3501
nigel.morris@takeovers.gov.au