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Australia’s OM Holdings faces opposition to Hong Kong listing

Australia’s OM Holdings faces opposition to Hong Kong listing
(Reuters) – Manganese producer and trader OM Holdings has run into opposition to a planned dual listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange from its top shareholder, Ukrainian billionaire Gennady Bogolyubov’s Consolidated Minerals.

Consolidated Minerals, which owns 11.4 percent of OM Holdings, said it planned to vote against the share issue worth up to A$498 million ($522 million) and go to court to stop the Hong Kong listing, which it said would heavily dilute existing shareholders.

“We have had enough of the poor corporate governance and apparent lack of transparency and you can expect us to commence legal action against the Hong Kong listing, and then take steps to remove the current directors,” Bogolyubov said in a statement.

OM Holdings declined to comment on Consolidated Minerals’ protest.

Shareholders are due to vote on April 20 on an issue of up to 345 million new shares to be listed in Hong Kong at up to a 20 percent discount.

Combined with employee options, the Hong Kong listing could more than double the group’s share base, Consolidated Minerals said.

“Make no mistake, as we see it, OMH is run by the board and for the board and we are not going to watch minority shareholders be significantly disadvantaged yet again,” Bogolyubov said.

Consolidated Minerals called it a major move which shareholders had had too little time to evaluate. OM Holdings spelt out the plan on March 28 in its notice of annual meeting.

“In principal they may not be opposed to the Hong Kong listing, but ConsMin are certainly opposed to the way the company is going about doing it,” said Peter Brooke, a spokesman for Consolidated Minerals.

OM Holdings is looking to list in Hong Kong to expand its shareholder base and give it better access to capital in Asia.

“In addition, being strategically positioned in this well established and highly liquid market will be of significant benefit to the company should it contemplate future international acquisitions and/or growth opportunities,” it said in its notice to shareholders.

CITIC Securities International and Morgan Stanley have been appointed as joint global coordinators for the Hong Kong share offer which OM Holdings aims to complete by the end of September.

adapted from Reuters

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