PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Takeover target Cardinal Resources on Wednesday said it was disappointed with the Australian Takeovers Panel’s decision not to intervene in the furor surrounding its ownership.
The Takeovers Panel earlier this week declined an intervention request from all of the parties, saying there was no reasonable prospect that the current situation between Shandong and Nordgold qualified as "unacceptable", adding that Shandong’s qualification in its last and final statement was not ambiguous, and that Nordgold’s matching of the Shandong offer and seeking to hold the Chinese bidder to its last and final statement was not a misuse of the “truth in takeovers” policy.
A spokesperson for Nordgold acknowledged that both Shandong and Nordgold’s A$1 a share bid for Cardinal was now best and final, but argued that Nordgold remained the better operator option for Cardinal’s West African project, given its track record in the region.
The spokesperson also noted that Nordgold’s 28% interest in Cardinal made the Russian suitor its largest shareholder.
The Russian gold miner has extended its offer period for Nordgold by seven days, with the offer to close on December 7.
Cardinal for its part has said that it would consider its options in relation to the Takeovers Panel’s decision, and was continuing to "explore all possible contingencies".
The company pointed out that if a third bidder emerged, offering a price higher than the current A$1 a share bid, both Shandong Gold and Nordgold would be released from their current stalemate, and would be free to increase their offerings.
Cardinal owns the Namdini project, in Ghana, where a previously completed feasibility study estimated that it would produce some 4.2-million ounces of gold over a mine life of 15 years, with an estimated 1.1-million ounces expected over the first three years of the operation. Namdini is expected to cost $390-million to develop.