* New stakeholder snaps up 12 pct stake in Aquila
* Mineral Resources to comment on talk it bought Aquila
* Baosteel unlikely to offer 10 pct more for Aquila - source
(Adds Aquila, Mineral Resources comments)
MELBOURNE, June 11 China's Baosteel Resources
may have to raise its bid for Aquila Resources Ltd
after a new stakeholder bought into the iron ore and coal
developer at a price 10 percent higher than Baosteel has
About 12 percent of Aquila's shares traded at A$3.75 a
share, the company said on Wednesday, adding it had not been
able to confirm speculation that the buyer was mining services
firm and iron ore producer Mineral Resources Ltd.
"Aquila's independent board sub-committee welcomes this
recognition that the value of the Company's shares is well in
excess of the current $3.40 cash per share conditional
off-market takeover offer by Baosteel Resources Australia Pty
Ltd and Aurizon Operations Limited," Aquila said on Wednesday.
Mineral Resources sought a trading halt, saying it would
comment on a report in the Australian Financial Review on
Wednesday that it had bought shares in Aquila.
Baosteel and Australian rail operator Aurizon Holdings Ltd
formally launched a bid for Aquila at A$3.40 a share
last week, valuing the company at A$1.42 billion ($1.33
They are chasing Aquila for its 50 percent stakes in an
undeveloped $7 billion iron ore mine, rail and port project in
Western Australia that was put on ice two years ago, and a coal
project in Queensland.
The bid needs acceptance from at least 50 percent of
Aquila's share base.
If Mineral Resources has a 12 percent stake and is opposed
to the bid, it could team up with Aquila's executive chairman
Tony Poli and Aquila co-founder Charles Bass, who together own
about 40 percent of the company, to block the deal.
Aquila's shares jumped as much as 8 percent to a two-year
high of A$3.77 on Wednesday after the block trade went through
and last traded at A$3.61.
Aquila so far has told shareholders to sit tight while an
independent committee reviews Baosteel and Aurizon's offer and
has not spoken to Baosteel. The company has until June 20 to
issue a formal response to the bid.
A person familiar with Baosteel's bid said the Chinese firm,
which already has 20 percent of Aquila, and Aurizon were
unlikely to raise their bid to A$3.75 a share.
"I don't think they'd be willing to pay anything like that,"
the person said.
Mineral Resources chief executive Chris Ellison was not
immediately available for comment. An Aurizon spokesman did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.
($1 = 1.0675 Australian Dollars)
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Additional reporting by Thuy Ong,
Byron Kaye and James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin)