Canada's Goldcorp matches Penmont's bid for Canplats

Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:04pm EST
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By Pav Jordan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian gold producer Goldcorp Inc raised its bid for junior miner Canplats Resources Corp for the second time in a week on Tuesday, matching a rival offer from Minera Penmont.

Goldcorp, which has been growing aggressively, said it raised the value of its bid to C$4.80 a share, comprised of C$4.60 a share cash plus shares of a newly formed company that will hold Canplats' Mexican exploration assets.

In a filing earlier this year, Canplats said it had 58,634,040 fully paid and non-assessable common shares, which would value the Goldcorp offer at some C$281.44 million ($270 million).

"The Penmont proposal is of no further effect because Goldcorp has exercised its right to match," Goldcorp said in a statement.

Goldcorp bid C$238 million for Canplats in November and won the right to match any superior offers. It last raised that bid on December 24 to match a previous offer from Minera Penmont, the joint venture of global mining giants Fresnillo Plc and Newmont Mining. Penmont raised its bid on Sunday, forcing Goldcorp to react within five days.

Both buyers are eager to acquire Canplats' Camino Rojo gold-silver deposit in Mexico, which is some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Goldcorp's Penasquito gold-silver mine.

"We are looking at the land package there because it substantially increases our landholdings in that area and it has good synergies for our Penasquito mine, it is very close," said Goldcorp spokeswoman Lynette Gould.

The Represa deposit at Camino Rojo hosts 3.44 million ounces of gold and 60.7 million ounces of silver on a measured and indicated resources basis.   Continued...