June 20, 2018 / 4:03 AM / a month ago

Australia's Mineral Resources says will not make counterbid for Atlas Iron

(Reuters) - Mining infrastructure provider Mineral Resources (MIN.AX) on Wednesday said it would not make an offer to counter Hancock Prospecting’s A$390 million ($288 million) bid for Australia’s Atlas Iron (AGO.AX).

That will likely cool expectation of a possible bidding war for the iron ore miner, after Atlas on Tuesday gave Mineral Resources three business days to match a A$0.042 per share takeover offer from Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

Atlas operates in the iron ore rich Pilbara region of Western Australia and has undeveloped tenements that could potentially be brought into production with a larger partner.

Hancock Prospecting had bid for the iron ore miner on Monday, trouncing an earlier A$280.2 million bid in April from Mineral Resources.

Meanwhile, world No. 4 iron ore miner Fortescue (FMG.AX) has built up 19.9-percent stake in Atlas, a hold large enough to block Mineral Resources’ offer.

Shares of Atlas Iron were up about 1 percent, while Mineral Resources shares were largely flat.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford

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