Shares of uranium miner Paladin dive after canceled sale

Fri Aug 2, 2013 10:11am EDT

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Aug 2 (Reuters) - Shares of Australian uranium miner Paladin Energy Ltd fell as much as 29 percent in Toronto on Friday after the company canceled plans for now to sell a minority interest in an African mine, and instead raised funds through a private placement of shares.

Paladin said it ended negotiations with a potential investor on Thursday and all other parties for a stake in its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia. The company said it was unlikely to get the price it wanted because of low uranium prices.

The price of the metal, used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors, has been weak since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The disaster crippled the Fukushima-Daiichi atomic power plant and led Japan to shut down nearly all of its reactors.

Paladin said on Friday that its private placement of 125.6 million shares, representing about 15 percent of its previous shares outstanding, would raise about A$88 million or C$81 million ($77.9 million). The placement was priced at a 30 percent discount to Paladin's last closing price on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Trading of Paladin stock was halted in both Canada and Australia on Thursday, pending news.

Paladin's stock was down 28 percent, or 26 Canadian cents to 66 Canadian cents in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1=$1.04 Canadian) (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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