MELBOURNE Oct 25 Resolute Mining has
proposed to acquire a 20 percent stake in gold miner Noble
Mineral Resources and offered A$85 million in financing
to Noble, looking to trump an offer by Chinese firm Zhongrun
Resources Investment Corp.
Resolute, a gold miner with operations in Australia and
Mali, is looking to stop Zhongrun from buying a 42 percent stake
in Noble for A$85 million ($88 million), through a share sale
Noble announced a month ago.
The miner is hoping to win over Noble shareholders who don't
want their stakes to be heavily diluted by Zhongrun.
"Resolute's financing offer provides significant advantages
to Noble shareholders, including speed and certainty of
funding," Resolute said.
Noble's shares jumped 12 percent to A$0.14 after the offer
was announced. Resolute's shares fell 4 percent to A$1.81.
Noble, which wants the money to fund the ramp-up of its
Bibiani mine in Ghana to produce 150,000 ounces of gold a year
and pay down debt, said it was assessing the proposal.
Resolute said it had reached agreement with some Noble
shareholders to acquire just under 20 percent of the company in
exchange for Resolute shares and offered Noble A$85 million in
financing through two issues of convertible notes.
The financing offer was conditional upon Noble not going
ahead with the share sale to Zhongrun.
Resolute's agreement with some Noble shareholders involved
issuing one Resolute share for every 12 Noble shares, implying a
share price of A$0.15 per Noble share based on Thursday's close.
($1 = 0.9676 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Eric Meijer)