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‘It’s your best and final offer’: The bidding war for gold junior Explaurum just escalated

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Miner Ramelius Resources has made an “improved, best and final” off-market takeover offer for sought-after gold junior Explaurum.

And investors approve, sending the Explaurum shares up almost 30 per cent in morning trade to 11c per share.

The dramatic 3-month wrestle for Explaurum (ASX:EXU) looked over in late November, after mid-tier gold miner Ramelius (ASX:RMS)  bailed on its hostile takeover bid because it couldn’t beat an alternative offer made by Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK).

Explaurum shares fell from about 13c to just above 8c following that announcement.

Multi-commodity miner Alkane is offering $8 million for a 12.2 per cent stake the hotly pursued junior, which Explaurum’s board has since endorsed.

Shareholders will vote on the Alkane offer in a general meeting on December 21.

Ramelius now says it will improve its offer to about 13.4c per share – a 57 per cent premium to Explaurum’s last closing price, and a 11.7 per cent premium to the Alkane transaction (which, unlike the Ramelius offer, doesn’t have any ‘change of control’ implications).

Ramelius reckons “major Explaurum shareholders” holding about 14.3 per cent of the junior  intend to accept its offer and vote against the Alkane transaction.

This would increase Ramelius’ relevant interest in Explaurum to 19.9 per cent, the miner says.

The Ramelius offer has been extended to January 25, 2019, but only if the Alkane transaction doesn’t go ahead on December 21.

“In light of the above feedback received, Ramelius is very confident that the improved offer will be well supported by Explaurum shareholders,” the company told investors.

Ramelius said it bailed on its original improved offer in late November because the results of its  due diligence on Explaurum’s flagship “Tampia” gold resource — as re-estimated by Ramelius — was “unlikely to financially support the immediate construction of a stand-alone processing facility”.

To do this, additional exploration efforts and further technical studies, particularly around metallurgical recoveries, were required, it said.

Ramelius decided to make a final offer when a trucking option to its  Edna May processing facility indicated an acceptable return on capital could be achieved.

Explaurum’s Tampia Hill project is about 130km from Ramelius’s Edna May mine.

Ramelius believes there could be operational and capital cost synergies between the two operations, and the addition of the Tampia Hill project to its portfolio would maintain its exposure to ongoing exploration potential.

Explaurum has been approach for additional comment.

Categories: Mining

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