Australia's Panoramic rejects Independence's takeover offer, plans capital raise

(Reuters) - Australian nickel miner Panoramic Resources PAN.AX on Thursday recommended that its shareholders reject a takeover bid by larger peer Independence Group NL IGO.AX and went ahead with a capital raising effort, breaching an offer condition.

The miner said the A$312 million ($211.7 million) offer was “opportunistically timed” and shareholders would reduce their exposure to “near-term improvements in operational performance” if they accepted.

Shareholders also should wait to see if a superior offer emerged, Panoramic said.

Independence, which had offered to buy Panoramic in an all scrip-bid last month recently received access for due diligence on its smaller peer and its flagship Savannah Project, although no alternate proposal has been announced by the miner so far.

Panoramic also announced an entitlement offer to raise about A$31 million.

The miner said funds from the capital raising would be used for development of its Savannah Project and repayment of a loan to top shareholder Zeta Resources ZER.AX, among others.

In a statement Independence Group said it would not participate in the entitlement offer, adding that it reserved its rights regarding the breached condition of the takeover offer.

Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates and Clarence Fernandez