Gemfields stock hit by Pallinghurst’s move to lower approval threshold for its bid

Emeralds and rubies miner Gemfields’ (LON:GEM) shares slipped more than 2% Wednesday after its largest investor Pallinghurst lowered the minimum number of acceptances from the company’s shareholders on its takeover offer.

Gemfields is recommending shareholders to accept Fosun's offer, despite considering it "unfair" and "unreasonable."

South Africa-listed Pallinghurst now needs just 60% of Gemfields’ shareholders to back the deal, which it claims it has already received. However, China’s Fosun Gold — which has offered an 18%-premium competing bid — and the gemstone miner itself disagree.

Pallinghurst, which already owns 47% of Gemfields, would also need the backing of its own investors on June 26 to press ahead with the offer, which is now unconditional.

Gemfields said Tuesday its independent committee considered the terms of Fosun's offer were neither fair nor reasonable. However, it recommended its shareholders to accept it, as Pallinghurst’s bid was even more “derisory.”

The precious stones producer, which owns the luxury Fabergé jewellery brand, is the world's biggest coloured gems producer, accounting for roughly a third of the world’s emeralds and rubies from three mines — two in Zambia and one in Mozambique.

Last week, the company broke its own record by achieving the highest revenue from its latest auction of rough rubies.

Gemfields shares were last trading 2.08 lower to 41.25p at 1:40PM local time.