Cameco retreats from Hathor takeover battle
Ending speculation it might want to keep Rio Tinto out of the Athabasca Basin, Cameco said it would not offer more for Hathor.
Posted: Monday , 28 Nov 2011
HALIFAX, NS -
In the fight for junior, Hathor Exploration, Rio Tinto has been left alone in the ring as uranium-miner Cameco threw in the towel Monday, saying it would let its inferior-bid lapse instead of offering more.
Cameco issued a short press release, most of which was occupied by a prepared statement from Tim Gitzel, Cameco president and CEO.
The issue was price. "After careful consideration we cannot justify increasing the price beyond our current offer," Gitzel stated.
That put an end to speculation Cameco might still have some juice left in it and try to beat Rio Tinto for Hathor or work out a joint bid with the global mining giant.
Cameco, by backing out, also increased the odds Rio Tinto would use Hathor's assets, especially the high-grade Roughrider deposit, as a beach head into the Athabasca basin and uranium production down the road.
Hathor's board of directors has supported both of Rio Tinto's offers in the takeover battle between Cameco, which started at the end of August when Cameco made a hostile all-cash C$3.75 per share bid for Hathor.
Rio Tinto followed that offer with one of C$4.25 per share, which Cameco then topped at C$4.50 per share. Rio Tinto quickly countered with C$4.70, a bid that now stands to win it Hathor unless another suitor makes a last ditch - and by all accounts highly unlikely - run at the junior.
Meanwhile, as the November 30 deadline on the highest bid fast approaches, Rio Tinto urged Hathor shareholders to tender their shares to its offer, which values the junior company at C$654 million.
iPad Version: Picture - Courtesy of Cameco