AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU), which currently holds a 19.5% indirect interest in Corvus Gold (TSX: KOR), has set its sights on expanding its mineral reserves through buying out Corvus and its entire portfolio of gold assets in Nevada.
On Tuesday, the South Africa-based gold miner submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire for cash all issued and outstanding common shares of Corvus that it does not already beneficially own for total consideration of $370 million.
The proposal follows the announcement by Corvus on May 6 that it had entered into a $20 million unsecured loan and guaranty agreement with AngloGold’s North American subsidiary.
As a result of the loan agreement, AngloGold was granted an initial exclusivity period of 90 days, during which the company was allowed to conduct a detailed due diligence exercise on Corvus and its key assets. This initial exclusivity period would be extended by a further 30 days in the event AngloGold submits a letter of intent or proposal.
AngloGold’s offer, which values the Corvus common shares at C$4.00 ($3.20) each, represents a premium of approximately 55% to the price of C$2.58 ($2.0) recorded on the day prior to the loan agreement, a premium of approximately 23% to the closing price prior to the submission of the proposal, and a premium of approximately 20% to the last 10-day volume weighted average price on the TSX.
Corvus presently owns the North Bullfrog, Mother Lode and other exploration assets located in southern Nevada’s Beatty district, in close proximity to, or contiguous with, AngloGold’s exploration assets of Silicon, Transvaal and Rhyolite.
In making the offer, AngloGold said it believes the combination of the companies’ Nevada assets further consolidates one of the largest new gold districts in the world, with potential for “significant synergies from economies of scale and integrated infrastructure including processing facilities.”
“The proposal is fully aligned to our strategy of growing ore reserve, building low-cost production and generating sustainable returns. We have a unique opportunity to combine Corvus’ assets with our own – in the world’s top-ranked mining jurisdiction – to create a meaningful new production base for AngloGold Ashanti in the medium and longer term,” Christine Ramon, AngloGold’s interim CEO, said in Tuesday’s release.
Shares of AngloGold Ashanti rose 3.3% by 11:30 a.m. in New York following announcement of its proposal to buy Corvus Gold. At the time, its market capitalization stood at $8.6 billion.
At press time, Corvus Gold was trading at C$3.25 a share with a market capitalization of C$412.6 million.