The uranium price is in the long-term doldrums. But that has not deterred Enterprise Uranium from striking a deal to become the biggest shareholder in takeover target Energia Minerals.
The deal, which delivered Enterprise an 18.5 per cent stake in Energia, is likely to spark talk of eventual corporate manoeuvring to consolidate early-stage uranium projects in WA.
Yesterday's move by Enterprise also provides further endorsement of Energia's Carley Bore project in the Pilbara, just seven months after Tony Sage's Cauldron Energy launched a hostile takeover of Energia.
Enterprise executive director Dermot Ryan said yesterday the purchase of the Energia stake was "really just opportunistic" because the previous owner, Uranium Equities, was keen to cash out.
Enterprise will pay Uranium Equities $500,000 cash and about $320,000 in Enterprise shares in return for the Energia stake.
"We have no plans (for Energia) at the moment," Mr Ryan said.
"It's just a passive investment in the company. We haven't even had a recent discussion with Kim Robinson and Energia's board. As someone once said, the time to buy a straw hat is in winter."
But Mr Ryan ruled out supporting Cauldron's hostile bid, which is due to expire on November 16.
Cauldron has offered one of its shares for eight Energia units, valuing the target at 1.6Â¢, but struggled to gain any traction.
Energia managing director Mr Robinson has already flagged that a block of shareholders controlling 51.9 per cent would oppose the Cauldron offer.
Energia's shares closed unchanged at 2.1Â¢ yesterday