Sundance Resources placed in trading halt pending insider trading allegations

Australian iron ore explorer Sundance Resources yesterday requested its shares be placed in a trading halt pending the outcome of the $1.57 billion takeover talks with China's Hanlong Mining.

The request came because three of Hanlong's executives are being investigated by the Australian exchange regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission over insider trading allegations.

The company said in a letter to the Australian Securities Exchange that it would make an announcement to the market prior to the open of trading on 29 November, or earlier.

The deal could be stalled by the Australia Foreign Investment Review Board, whose approval is required for the deal to go through.

Hanlong, a subsidiary of the Sichuan Hanlong Group, one of China's largest private conglomerates, had in July offered to buy the remaining 81.4 per cent stake that it does not already own in Sundance, for A$1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) in cash. (See: China's Hanlong Mining to buy Australia's Sundance Resources for A$1.4 bn) 

In October, the Chinese company sweetened its takeover offer to A$0.57 in cash per share, valuing the Australian miner at A$1.65 billion ($1.57 billion).