March 20, 2013 / 6:22 AM / 5 years ago

Sundance CEO not confident on Hanlong bid after chairman detained

HONG KONG, March 20 (Reuters) - Australia’s Sundance Resources Ltd said it is not confident suitor Hanlong Mining will meet a deadline to submit a credit-approved term sheet for its $1.4 billion takeover bid after the detention of the Chinese company’s chairman.

China’s official Shanghai Securities News on Wednesday reported Hanlong chairman Liu Han and some family members had been detained by authorities but gave no details for the reason.

“We understand he’s been detained,” Sundance Chief Executive Giulio Casello told Reuters by telephone.

“I don’t know what it is for. We don’t think his detention has anything to do with Hanlong as a company.”

Casello said he was not confident Hanlong would be able to meet the March 26 deadline for its long-delayed takeover bid.

“We think they’re going to struggle with the timing based on what our understanding is.”

Hanlong launched its offer for Sundance in October 2011 but last year cut its offer price by more than a fifth to A$0.45 per share after Chinese regulators raised concerns about the cost following a slide in iron ore prices.

Sundance shares were halted on Tuesday. They last traded at less than half the offer at A$0.21, having fallen 6.7 percent on Tuesday and more than 7 percent the previous session. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Ken Wills)

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