Shares in uranium exploration company Bannerman Resources (ASX:BMN) climbed nearly 25% on Monday, as the company revealed it had received a $0.612 per share takeover offer from Sichuan Hanlong.
But Bannerman said the bid, worth around $144 million, is an attempt by the Chinese miner to take advantage of Bannerman's low share price in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.
Bannerman also rejected Sichuan Hanlong's request for a three-month exclusivity period, stating that there is “an absence of agreement on price,” and that the offer is highly conditional.
As well as the usual due diligence and regulatory approvals, conditions of the offer include continuity of Bannerman senior management, no major adverse change to Bannerman's circumstances and a lack of significant transactions, claims or new commitments.
Bannerman will instead continue its joint venture discussions with third parties over the commercialisation of its 80%-owned Etango project alongside its negotiations with Sichan Hanlong over the buyout bid.
Bannerman chairman David Smith said that given that “Bannerman controls one of the largest undeveloped uranium resources in the world ... it is understandable that [it is] now attracting corporate interest.”
In a probable allusion to Fukushima, Smith expressed confidence that nuclear power will continue to play a key role in meeting the world's energy needs “despite recent events.”
BMN shares grew 23.38% in Monday's trading at $0.475.
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