Nunavut’s Accord With Regulator Allows Baffinland Bid

Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Inc. reached an agreement yesterday with the Ontario Securities Commission that will allow it to proceed with a hostile bid for Baffinland Iron Mines Co., rivaling an offer from ArcelorMittal.

Nunavut, backed by U.S. private equity firm Energy & Minerals Group, was seeking to include a warrant-exchange plan as part of its offer. The agreement with the OSC requires Nunavut to either provide more information about the warrants or withdraw the warrant component altogether, the OSC said today in an e-mailed statement. Nunavut must also extend its tender offer for at least 10 days past its Jan. 10 deadline, the OSC said.

Nunavut said yesterday in a statement it intends to keep the warrant component in its offer and give the disclosures to the OSC by Jan. 10.

Nunavut, a venture formed in August to gain control of Toronto-based Baffinland, is seeking to buy 60 percent of the iron-ore developer. Nunavut raised its offer to C$1.45 ($1.45) a share on Dec. 31, following ArcelorMittal’s friendly bid of C$1.40 for all of Baffinland’s stock.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, and Nunavut have fought a three-month takeover battle for Baffinland’s Mary River project in Canada. Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal is seeking greater access to iron ore as prices for the steelmaking ingredient climb. ArcelorMittal’s bid expires at 11:59 p.m. in Toronto on Jan. 10.

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