MOSCOW Nov 27 Russia's Nord Gold
will increase its ownership of Toronto-listed subsidiary High
River Gold to 87.9 percent under a share offer that
could boost its free float and take it a step further to a
premium London listing.
The country's third-largest gold producer, controlled by
billionaire Alexei Mordashov, said in July it would bid for the
25 percent of High River it does not already own.
The minorities were offered 0.285 of Nord Gold's GDRs per
High River share or C$1.40 in cash.
Nord Gold said on Tuesday that 108 million shares of High
River had been taken up under the offer, meaning Nord Gold will
own 739 million shares of High River, representing 87.9 percent.
It is extending the offer to December 8 to allow remaining
High River shareholders time to tender their shares.
If enough High River shareholders swap their stock for paper
in Nord Gold, the deal could prove a key step towards achieving
the 25 percent free-float required to move the gold producer to
a premium London listing.
Nord Gold was spun off from Mordashov-owned steel firm
Severstal earlier this year and listed its global
depositary receipts (GDRs) in London as part of efforts to
pursue an ambitious expansion strategy.
Chief Executive Nikolai Zelenski said in a recent interview
that the step to move from GDRs to a premium listing is not
expected within the coming year, as the company concentrates on
resolving operational issues after a difficult first half.
If High River shareholders do not tender their shares in the
offer, they will not receive any consideration from Nordgold
until the company completes an acquisition, Nord Gold said in
Nord Gold said it will have enough votes to approve a deal
without requiring any other High River shareholder to vote in
favour of a transaction.