Panel Publishes Reasons in Auriongold Application [13/09/2002] The Takeovers Panel

13 September 2002

PANEL PUBLISHES REASONS IN AURIONGOLD APPLICATION

The Panel advises that it has today published its reasons for its decision in response to an application by AurionGold Limited on Monday 5 August 2002. On Tuesday 6 August, the Panel declined to commence proceedings, having accepted an undertaking offered by Placer Dome Asia Pacific Limited (Placer Dome) in relation to the broker inducement fee which Placer Dome announced on 29 July 2002 (Australian time) under its takeover offers for AurionGold Limited.

The Panel had concerns that the size of the fee offered by Placer Dome had the possibility of inducing brokers to place undue, and possibly coercive, pressure on their clients to accept the Placer Dome offer.

Placer Dome undertook to vary the broker inducement fee to 0.75% of the value of the consideration payable to an accepting shareholder, up to a maximum of $750. Acceptances placed prior to the announcement of the Panel's decision, i.e. 1.30 p.m. on Tuesday 6 August, were to be paid the originally announced fee. Something less than 5% of the total shares in AurionGold were transferred under the higher fees.

In its reasons, the Panel has made comments on the disclosure issues raised in the application. The Panel notes that it received only initial submissions on the issues so its comment on the issues raised are necessarily limited. Placer Dome indicated its disagreement with the concerns raised by AurionGold.

The bid is currently still open.

The sitting Panel for the application is Marie McDonald (sitting President), Simon Mordant (sitting Deputy President) and Elizabeth Alexander AM.

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