Australian approval for Xstrata's MIM deal

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Xstrata won approval from the Queensland Supreme Court yesterday to go ahead with a A$3.4bn (£1.35bn) takeover of the Australian miner MIM Holdings in a deal that will double the size of the coal and zinc miner.

The A$1.72-a-share offer was approved by the Australian coal, copper and zinc miner's shareholders on 6 June. Small shareholders voted for the takeover despite opposition from MIM's chief executive, Vince Gauci, who insisted until the end that UK-listed Xstrata, eager to expand beyond its base in South Africa, was buying the company too cheaply.

With the court's approval in hand, trade in MIM's shares was suspended on the Australian Stock Exchange from yesterday's close of trade.

MIM last traded up two cents at the takeover price of A$1.72. Xstrata shares ended down 8p at 439p yesterday. Xstrata said it would delay its first-half earnings report to 17 September, from 28 July.

Australian securities regulators had raised concern the shareholder vote in favour of the offer might have been won unfairly through share-splitting by institutional investors. This involves the break-up of large parcels of shares into smaller parcels which are then registered with new owners who vote in a pre-arranged way.