Court clears Newcrest's $22.3-bn Lihir Gold takeover

Clearing the last stumbling block in the takeover of Lihir Gold Limited (LGL) by rival Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest), the national court of Papua New Guinea (PNG) approved yesterday the scheme of arrangement between the two Australian gold mining majors, which will create one of the world's largest miners of the precious metal.

The approval follows the consent for the scheme by LGL shareholders on Monday for its takeover by the country's largest gold miner. (See: Lihir Gold shareholders approve $22.3 billion merger with Newcrest Mining)

"This was the final step in the merger approval process after LGL shareholders voted overwhelmingly (99.86 percent) in favour of the scheme of arrangement earlier this week," Newcrest said in a statement.

Further to the court order, the scheme will become effective on Monday, 30 August 2010 and will be implemented two weeks later on Monday, 13 September 2010.

LGL shares will be suspended from trading on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and Port Moresby Stock Exchange (POMSoX) of Papua New Guinea from close of trading on 30 August, and LGL ADSs will be suspended from trading on NASDAQ prior to the opening of trading on 30 August as per the New York time, LGL said in a separate statement.

Trading of new Newcrest shares to be issued under the scheme will commence on ASX and POMSoX on a deferred settlement basis on Tuesday, 31 August.