July 3, 2019 / 6:33 AM / 18 days ago

South Africa's Afrimat pulls takeover bid for Universal Coal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African open pit mining firm Afrimat Limited (AFTJ.J) has withdrawn its offer to buy Australian-listed Universal Coal plc (UNV.AX), given the size and complexity of the transaction, it said on Wednesday.

In April Afrimat bid for Universal, a company with operations in South Africa, for 40 Australian cents ($0.2798) per share as part of its diversification strategy.

At that time Universal, which also supplies coal to state-owned power utility Eskom, had also received a revised takeover offer from a consortium led by South African entity Ata Resources, with a cash consideration lifted to 36 cents from earlier offer of 35 cents.

“Following a thorough due diligence process and extensive consideration Afrimat’s board and management has decided not to proceed with the acquisition given the size and nature of the transaction,” Afrimat said in a statement.

Shares of Universal fell as much as 16.4% to a near one-year low of A$0.255 after the withdrawal of Afrimat’s takeover offer. At 0600 GMT they were down 6.56%.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla

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