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It's a turn of events few people saw coming. After duking it out for control of Baffinland Iron Mines , ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Inc. came together for a joint offer that both companies view as a win-win.

So who extended the olive branch? Nunavut Iron Ore. It makes sense, too, because the two firms were starting to one-up each other at an accelerating pace, and both didn't want the stakes to get much higher too quickly.

The joint offer has been in the works for the past few days, said Nunavut chairman Bruce Walter, who added that it was put together at an exhausting pace. He also noted that while the combined effort may surprise people on the outside of the deal because the two companies have scorned each other's competing offers, the negotiations between the two management terms were actually quite cordial.

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"All parties involved understand the difference between the way in which one engages in the takeover bid game and how you want to conduct yourself going forward," Mr. Walter said.

He also said that the joint offer had been on his 'menu' of options for some time, and that no one playing the hostile takeover bid game can expect anything less than unique twists and turns.

But now he has to test that theory with shareholders who he said weren't brought into the fold about the potential of a joint offer. Resource Capital Funds, Baffinland's largest shareholder, had already agreed to tender its shares in a previous lock-up agreement that it signed with ArcelorMittal.

Shareholders have until Jan. 24 to tender.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

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