January 14, 2010 / 4:54 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Ivanhoe denies chairman has put stake up for sale

* Says Friedland’s 23 pct stake in Ivanhoe not up for sale

* Says Dow Jones story regarding sale of stake is false

* Dow Jones says its story “speaks for itself” (Adds details, Dow Jones comment, share price move)

TORONTO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) said on Thursday there was no truth to a story that says its chairman, Robert Friedland, had put his 23 percent founder’s stake in the company up for sale.

Last week, Ivanhoe said it had hired investment bankers from Citigroup (C.N) and mining-sector specialist Hatch Corporate Finance to evaluate a range of strategic options to further enhance shareholder value. [ID:nN06209449]

On Thursday, Ivanhoe denied Friedland was selling his stake, as reported by Dow Jones Newswires in a story that cited unnamed sources.

“I am surprised that the Dow Jones organization would publish an imaginary story using only anonymous sources and making no effort whatsoever to contact me to establish whether or not the story was true,” Friedland said in a statement.

However, Dow Jones stood by its story and a spokesman for the company said, “Our story speaks for itself.”

Ivanhoe said Citi and Hatch are assisting its management to evaluate a range of options during coming months.

The options include offering new shares or bonds, borrowing money or selling a subsidiary, as well as “various corporate transactions.” The company, which also has stakes in smaller mine developers, stressed that no specific deal was under consideration.

Colorful dealmaker Robert Friedland made a fortune selling the undeveloped Voisey’s Bay nickel-copper deposit in Eastern Canada to Inco in 1996 for C$4.3 billion. Inco has since been bought by Brazil’s Vale VALE5.SA.

Shares of Ivanhoe were down 2.4 percent at C$17.22 in afternoon trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty

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