Clive Palmer is facing a threat of court action.
Clive Palmer is facing a threat of court action. Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

Palmer 'hijacked BHP deal'

A JUDGE should decide whether Clive Palmer is obliged to share the fruits of his turnaround of the Yabulu nickel refinery with the shareholders of a rejected bidder for the plant, the NSW Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Mr Palmer obtained ''extraordinarily valuable information'' about the refinery near Townsville in his role as a director of Gladstone Pacific Nickel Limited, James Stevenson, SC, told the court.

A month after BHP Billiton rejected a bid from Gladstone Pacific in June 2009, Mr Palmer bought the refinery himself.

An aggrieved shareholder, Robert Pearce, wants Justice Michael Ball to allow Gladstone Pacific to sue Mr Palmer for alleged breaches of his duties as a director.

Mr Stevenson, acting for Mr Pearce, said there was ''a serious question to be tried'' whether Mr Palmer used his board position ''to start negotiating on his own behalf''.