$2.85 billion market cap gold miner Saracen(ASX:SAR) has announced an off-market takeover bid for micro-cap WA gold explorer Bligh Resources (ASX:BGH).

The all-share deal values Bligh at $38.2m or 12.8c per share – a 97 per cent premium to Bligh’s last closing share price of 6.5c.

Bligh’s sole project called Bundarra is less than 30km south of Saracen’s low cost Thunderbox operations in Western Australia. It was initially mined between 2000-2002 by Sons of Gwalia, producing 1.7mt grading 2.2g/t for 115,000oz of gold.

Saracen has been trying to get its hands on the 660,000oz Bundarra since early 2017.

Saracen offered Bligh the low, low price of $8.5m in February 2017, an offer that the explorer initially accepted. This deal would’ve valued to stock at 3.8c per share.

By April that year the offer was increased to $9m, which Saracen called its “last and final offer”. Obviously not.

The deal failed due to a savvy move by then 20 per cent shareholder Zeta Resources (ASX:ZER), which made a successful takeover bid of its own for the company. By September 2017 this takeover was a done deal, with Zeta acquiring 88.68 per cent of the total issued shares in Bligh.

This time, Bligh directors and Zeta Resources have indicated they will accept the Saracen offer.

Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said it made sense for both companies.

“Saracen’s infrastructure at our nearby Thunderbox operations means we can unlock the value of Bundarra and this is reflected in the share price premium we have offered to Bligh shareholders,” he says.

It also gives Saracen, which hopes to produce 365,000oz this financial year, additional near-term development opportunities at Thunderbox.