ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Transurban acquisition, BHP & Fortescue sink

It has been a very poor start to the week for the ASX 200…

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At lunch on Monday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has followed the lead of US markets and is tumbling notably lower. The benchmark index is currently down a disappointing 1.5% to 7,292.5 points.

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 today:

Transurban raising funds for WestConnex acquisition

The Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) share price is in a trading halt today whilst it seeks to raise $4.2 billion. The toll road operator is raising the funds to acquire the remainder of WestConnex with the Sydney Transport Partners consortium. The $11.1 billion acquisition will take the company’s ownership to 100%.

Ausnet shares jump on takeover approach

The Ausnet Services Ltd (ASX: AST) share price is rocketing higher today after the electricity distributor received a takeover approach. According to the release, Brookfield Asset Management has made a non-binding offer to acquire all of its issued shares at $2.50 per share. This is a 26% premium to Ausnet’s closing price of $1.98 on Friday. Ausnet has decided to provide Brookfield with the opportunity to conduct due diligence.

Mining giants fall heavily

It has been another difficult day for the likes of BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) shares. Investors have been selling down their shares again after iron ore prices tumbled further. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot benchmark iron ore price has tumbled 5% to US$101.95 a tonne.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the Ausnet share price with an 18% gain. This follows the receipt of takeover approach from Brookfield Asset Management. The worst performer has been the Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA) share price with a 12% decline. This appears to have been driven by iron ore price weakness.

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