UPDATE 1-Aurizon asks investors to hold off vote on Alamos bid

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:03am EST

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TORONTO Jan 15 (Reuters) - Aurizon Mines Ltd advised its shareholders on Tuesday to hold off on taking any action on an unsolicited takeover proposal from rival gold miner Alamos Gold Inc while it reviews the bid.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Aurizon, which operates the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec, said it was evaluating the C$780 million ($791.4 million) offer with its financial and legal advisors. It also plans to appoint a special committee of its board members to review the proposal.

Aurizon advised shareholders defer from taking any action on the Alamos offer until its board makes a recommendation.

Toronto-based Alamos said on Monday that it was making an offer directly to Aurizon shareholders, as past attempts to clinch a friendly deal had failed.

In documents filed with Canadian regulators, Alamos outlined details of three separate attempts made between 2008 and 2011 to reach a friendly deal, all of which Aurizon's board rebuffed.

Alamos, which owns and operates the Mulatos mine in Mexico, has offered C$4.65 a share for Aurizon, a 36 percent premium over the stock's closing price of C$3.41 on Friday. The shares rose to C$4.55 on Monday.

If Alamos' proposal succeeds, the deal would leave the company with two producing gold mines in jurisdictions considered politically stable and create a combined entity with a market capitalization of about C$2.6 billion.

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