The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

Sundance suitor wins China bank support for $1.7b bid


MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - China's Hanlong Group took a big step towards sealing a long-delayed US$1.4 billion (S$1.7 billion) takeover of Sundance Resources by securing a loan commitment from China Development Bank, with the news sending the Australian firm's shares up 9 per cent on Monday.

Sundance said the bank has agreed to provide Hanlong a debt facility of up to US$1.022 billion, subject to credit approval processes, and added Hanlong had also received a commitment from Bank of Deyang Co Ltd to finance loans for the remainder.

Sundance was targeted last year by Hanlong for its Mbalam iron ore project on the border of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, a new source of iron ore that could help trim China's dependence on the big three iron ore producers, Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

The takeover, now expected to close on Jan 8, had been delayed due to China Development Bank's reluctance to sign off on a loan for the deal and earlier delays in securing mining agreements with the governments of Cameroon and Congo.