Former Baffinland CEO promises to fight

The former chief executive of Baffinland Iron Mines says he will continue to fight for the minority shareholders of his former company after a joint venture led by ArcelorMittal announced it had won control of the firm.

The former chief executive of Baffinland Iron Mines says he will continue to fight for the minority shareholders of his former company after a joint venture led by ArcelorMittal announced it had won control of the firm.

The Mary River iron property in Nunavut was an issue, until the board at Baffinland Iron Mines was assured that Nunavut Iron would be responsible for its share of the purchase costs and development. ((Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.))

Gord McCreary had been working on a rival offer for Baffinland involving an unidentified Chinese bidder before ArcelorMittal and its private equity partner announced that they now control about 60 per cent of the company's shares.

"It's all about maximizing value for minority shareholders, so I've got several irons in the fire and keep charging ahead," McCreary said Wednesday.

However, McCreary, who stepped down from the Baffinland board after the company announced support for ArcelorMittal's initial bid in November, declined to be specific about what possibilities he might be pursuing.

"I'm still fully engaged working 20-hour days on this," he said.

Demand for iron ore has heated up with global demand led by China and India.

Earlier this month, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. signed a friendly deal worth $4.9 billion for Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd.

$590M truce

ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, and Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition had been in a bidding war for Baffinland, but called a truce to make a joint offer that valued the company about $590 million.

On Tuesday, the two companies, which have agreed to split Baffinland 70-30 with ArcelorMittal holding the larger stake, waived a two-thirds minimum tender condition and extended their offer of $1.50 per share to Feb. 4 in hopes of acquiring the remaining shares.

Baffinland shares were up a penny at $1.50 Wednesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron say they will co-operate and use their combined voting power to begin a review of Baffinland's Mary River iron project.

McCreary had raised concerns about the joint takeover, but the board at Baffinland backed the offer after it was assured that Nunavut Iron would be responsible for its share of the purchase costs and development of the Mary River project.