* Rio files official cash offer at C$4.15 per share
* Hathor shares trading well above Rio's offer
* Economic study revised due to payback miscalculation
Oct 27 Canada's Hathor Exploration
said on Thursday that it had received Rio Tinto's
formal takeover offer, as the global mining giant looks to gain
access to Canada's uranium-rich Athabasca basin.
The friendly deal, which was announced last week and puts
Rio Tinto in competition with Canada's largest uranium
producer, Cameco, values the exploration company at C$4.15 a
share, or C$578 million ($581 million).
Shares of Hathor closed on Wednesday at C$4.56 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange, well above Rio's bid as investors eyed
Cameco in anticipation of a bidding war.
"This is now a game between two of the titans of the
uranium producers," said Dundee Capital Markets analyst David
Talbot in a note to clients on Wednesday. "We believe that
Cameco could improve on its initial bid for Hathor."
Cameco first floated its C$520 million hostile bid for
Hathor in August, after talks on a friendly deal failed. The
uranium producer has said it is reviewing Rio's offer.
The attraction of Hathor for both miners is its large
exploration-stage Roughrider project in the uranium-rich
Athabasca region of Saskatchewan in Western Canada.
Hathor also said it had filed its full preliminary economic
assessment for the project, noting that the payback period was
miscalculated in a summary released last month. The project is
now anticipated to turn a profit about eight months later than