Alamos drops bid to buy Aurizon Mines

Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:05pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Canadian miner Alamos Gold Inc (AGI.TO) dropped its offer to buy peer Aurizon Mines Ltd ARZ.TO, putting an end to its bidding war with Hecla Mining Co (HL.N).

Alamos said it would not extend its offer for Aurizon shareholders to tender their shares after it failed to overturn a break-up fee payable to rival bidder Hecla. The company said it would not take up any Aurizon shares that were tendered to its offer.

A spokesperson for Alamos declined to comment on the percentage of Aurizon's shares that were tendered.

Alamos, which is Aurizon's largest shareholder with a 16.11 percent stake, made an unsolicited C$780 million ($759.16 million) offer in January. Hecla topped Alamos' bid with a friendly C$796 million offer on March 4.

If Alamos acquired more than a third of Aurizon's shares, the company would have to pay Hecla C$27.2 million as a break-up fee.

Alamos's Chief Executive John McCluskey had told Reuters on March 12 that the company was likely to walk away from the bid if it loses the regulatory ruling on the merits of the break fee committed to Hecla and a second poison pill adopted by Aurizon.

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) on Monday rejected Alamos' application against the break-up fee but ruled in favor of Alamos's application for the removal of the poison pill.

"The outcome is as we expected ... We are looking at alternative financing to what we have," Hecla CEO Phillips Baker told Reuters.

Hecla has received a commitment for a $500 million financing from the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO).

Hecla shares closed at $4.08 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Shares of Aurizon closed at C$4.48, while those of Alamos closed at C$14.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1 = 1.0275 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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