WILMINGTON, Del. — T. Boone Pickens Jr. withdrew his hotly contested takeover bid for Newmont Mining on Wednesday after the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a ruling blocking the buyout.
Ivanhoe Partners, a Pickens-led investment group, said in a statment that it "is withdrawing its cash tender offer for 28 million common shares of Newmont Corp."
The Amarillo, Tex.-based Ivanhoe will return any tendered Newmont shares to shareholders, the statement said.
In Delaware Chancery Court, Ivanhoe challenged the legality of maneuvers by Newmont's largest stockholder, Consolidated Gold Fields, in which the British company raised its stake in the company to 49.9% from 26.2%.
Consolidated, which supported Newmont management in the battle, scooped up 15.8 million Newmont shares in a two-day "street sweep" in September, raising its stake to nearly 50% of the outstanding shares.
In ruling Wednesday, the Delaware court said Newmont had the power and duty to oppose Ivanhoe's tender offer and that the defensive measures were reasonable, considering the threats posed.
"The board acted to meet them in the proper exercise of its sound business judgment," the court said, adding that Newmont's moves to stop the "inadequate, coercive" Ivanhoe offer were legitimate.
Michael Goldman, who represented Newmont, said Wednesday that the decision was a "tremendous victory on all points. The board feels it was fully vindicated."
Charles Richards, Ivanhoe's attorney, said he was disappointed by the decision.