* Says Hathor Exploration’s offer superior to Denison Mines’
* Gives Denison Mines time till July 20 to match offer * Northern Continental shares hit 15-month high (Adds analyst comment, updates share movement)
By Ashutosh Joshi
BANGALORE, July 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s Northern Continental Resources Inc NCR.V gave Denison Mines Corp (DML.TO) time till July 20 to match a “superior” offer from Hathor Exploration Ltd HAT.V to acquire the company.
Shares of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Northern Continental closed up 57 percent at 29 Canadian cents, a level not seen in the past 15 months.
Late on Wednesday, Hathor Exploration said it would offer 0.1389 shares for each Northern Continental share held, a deal that values Northern Continental at 25 Canadian cents per share, which is a premium of 35 percent to the stock’s closing price for the day.
Hathor had also said that the deal represented a premium of 36 per cent over Denison’s June all-stock offer, which was valued at 18.4 Canadian cents per share as of Wednesday.
Last month, Denison Mines had agreed to offer one common share for every 10.87 Northern Continental shares.
Salman Partners analyst Patrick Donnelly said Denison could revise its offer as it has a keen interest in Northern Continental’s Russell Lake property.
“I suspect they (will) come back, but for how much I don’t know. They might just match and then will see the ball go back into Hathor’s court,” said the analyst, who has a “buy” rating on Denison Mines’ stock.
Northern Continental holds 60 percent interest in the Russell Lake uranium property, while Hathor Exploration owns the remaining stake.
Denison has been pretty keen on the property as it is very close to its Phoenix discovery on the Wheeler River project in Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, analyst Donnelly said.
Denison officials were not immediately available for comment.
Hathor shares rose as much as 11 percent but pared some gains to close up 9 Canadian cents at C$1.89 Thursday on the Toronto Venture Exchange. Denison Mines stock closed down 2 Canadian cents at C$1.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Editing by Deepak Kannan)