* Gammon confident its offer will be approved on April 1
* Says offer is “a real deal” compared with Timmins bid (Adds details from interview, background. In U.S. dollars)
By Euan Rocha
TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Gammon Gold GAM.TO is “absolutely confident” most Capital Gold CGC.A shareholders support its takeover bid, valuing the company at about $408 million, and will vote in favor of it on April 1, Gammon’s chief executive said on Friday.
“In our conversations, shareholders are very supportive of Gammon, for the same reasons we’ve been saying,” CEO Rene Marion said in an interview with Reuters.
“First of all it’s a real deal,” Marion said. “It’s money on the table, it’s money now, not perhaps money later that is subject to a bunch of conditions.”
Gammon and smaller rival Timmins Gold TMM.TO have battled for months to win control of Capital Gold, which owns the El Chanate mine in northern Mexico, a region where both Gammon and Timmins already own operating gold mines.
Marion declined to disclose the percentage of Capital’s shareholders backing Gammon’s offer, but noted that Gammon is quite certain it has the numbers needed to carry the day when Capital’s shareholders vote on the offer on April 1.
“It’s safe to say that management is extremely optimistic that we will meet that threshold of 50 percent plus 1,” he said.
Capital Gold’s board and two proxy advisory firms -- ISS and Glass Lewis -- have advised shareholders to vote in favor of the Gammon offer.
Gammon is offering $1.09 plus 0.5209 of a Gammon share for each Capital share, valuing the U.S. company at about $408 million based on Thursday’s close.
The Timmins offer of 2.27 Timmins’ shares plus $0.25 in cash for each Capital share, values the company at roughly $382 million, based on Thursday’s close.
The Timmins offer was previously worth more than the Gammon offer, but Gammon’s shares surged after the company announced strong fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.
“We are very pleased with the reaction out there,” Marion said. “The market was surprised that we increased earnings by 72 percent, obviously the trading in our stock is going to help the Capital deal.”
“In any event, from our standpoint our bid has been superior the whole time. I think this is just icing on the cake,” he said. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Galloway)