December 30, 2009 / 3:03 AM / in 8 years

Canada's Goldcorp matches Penmont's bid for Canplats

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 an increased offer from Minera Penmont and winning support from its takeover target.

Goldcorp, which has been growing aggressively, said it raised 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.

Assuming 58,634,040 common shares -- the number from a Canplats filing earlier this year -- that 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.

Canplats said it recommended that its shareholders accept the offer, and a shareholder meeting is likely January 14.

Goldcorp bid C$238 million for Canplats in November and won the right to match any superior offers. It last raised its 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.

If Goldcorp succeeds in its bid, it says it would spin off all of Canplats’ other assets.

Penmont was not immediately available for comment and it was not clear if the Mexican joint venture would raise its bid again for Canplats.

Canplats stock jumped after the raised bid was announced, up 2.82 percent to C$5.10 per share.

Stock in Goldcorp fell 3.74 percent to C$41.13 per share.

($1=$1.04 Canadian)

Editing by Gary Hill

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