All this talk about BHP Billiton receiving a last minute rush of acceptances from WMC Resources is starting to look like a false dawn, with today’s notice only showing an increase from 13.33% to 16.35%. Check out the recent BHP announcements here.

BHP issued an ultimatum last week saying that its bid would lapse on Friday, 3 June if it didn’t have 50% of WMC in the bag. Few commentators have suggested that BHP will fall short of the mark when it looks like a distinct possibility because BHP has refused to offer a scrip alternative or extend the offer into the new financial year to reduce what will be the biggest single capital gains tax liability in Australian corporate history.

The flow of increases over the past five trading days been as follows:

26 May: 3.53%
27 May: 5.20%
30 May: 6.69%
31May: 13.33%
1 June: 16.35%

The big acceleration which saw a 6.64% increase reported on Tuesday, has fallen right away to a gain of just 3.02% reported today. BHP Billiton has just three more goes at this and they will need an average of 11.21% of the company each day, just to reach that 50% target. Don’t be surprised if they fall short of the mark. If it happens, they will only have themselves to blame as a scrip offer would have been much more popular.