Eastern Field has raised its stake in takeover target Finders Resources to 33.8 per cent and again extended its offer.

Eastern Field — which comprises Provident Minerals, Indonesian investment firm Saratoga and Indonesian copper-gold miner Merdeka — tabled its 23c off-market offer for Finders (ASX:FND) in October.

Despite it taking five months to get to the level it has, Eastern Field is confident Finders shareholders will back the takeover.

The hostile suitor has cemented its position as Finders’ largest shareholder.

“The larger, sophisticated Finders investors are leading the way and locking in fair and certain cash value,” Eastern Field director David Fowler said.

“We would expect other Finders shareholders to follow suit and lock in the certainty of our all-cash offer.”

Eastern Field has previously flagged concerns over the short mine life of the Wetar operation in Indonesia and production and cost guidance downgrades.

The increased stake follows a “significant rise in acceptances” on Thursday plus more on-market buying at the 23c bid price.

Stockhead understands that Eastern Field’s stake is probably level now with that of the publicly disclosed rejecting shareholders, who in December held a combined 38 per cent. It is understood that Eastern Field has had acceptances from some in that group of shareholders and others have sold, meaning their stake has dropped.

The swing in Eastern Field’s favour also saw Finders’ share price close below the bid price at 22.7c on Thursday.

FND shares over the past six months.
FND shares over the past six months.

The offer is unconditional and has now been extended by one week to March 23.