* Gammon confident its offer will be approved on April 1
* Says offer is "a real deal" compared with Timmins bid
(Adds details from interview, background. In U.S. dollars)
By Euan Rocha
TORONTO, March 25 Gammon Gold GAM.TO is
"absolutely confident" most Capital Gold CGC.A shareholders
support its takeover bid, valuing the company at about $408
million, and will vote in favor of it on April 1, Gammon's
chief executive said on Friday.
"In our conversations, shareholders are very supportive of
Gammon, for the same reasons we've been saying," CEO Rene
Marion said in an interview with Reuters.
"First of all it's a real deal," Marion said. "It's money
on the table, it's money now, not perhaps money later that is
subject to a bunch of conditions."
Gammon and smaller rival Timmins Gold (TMM.TO) have battled
for months to win control of Capital Gold, which owns the El
Chanate mine in northern Mexico, a region where both Gammon and
Timmins already own operating gold mines.
Marion declined to disclose the percentage of Capital's
shareholders backing Gammon's offer, but noted that Gammon is
quite certain it has the numbers needed to carry the day when
Capital's shareholders vote on the offer on April 1.
"It's safe to say that management is extremely optimistic
that we will meet that threshold of 50 percent plus 1," he
Capital Gold's board and two proxy advisory firms -- ISS
and Glass Lewis -- have advised shareholders to vote in favor
of the Gammon offer.
Gammon is offering $1.09 plus 0.5209 of a Gammon share for
each Capital share, valuing the U.S. company at about $408
million based on Thursday's close.
The Timmins offer of 2.27 Timmins' shares plus $0.25 in
cash for each Capital share, values the company at roughly $382
million, based on Thursday's close.
The Timmins offer was previously worth more than the Gammon
offer, but Gammon's shares surged after the company announced
strong fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.
"We are very pleased with the reaction out there," Marion
said. "The market was surprised that we increased earnings by
72 percent, obviously the trading in our stock is going to help
the Capital deal."
"In any event, from our standpoint our bid has been
superior the whole time. I think this is just icing on the
cake," he said.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter