UPDATE Wednesday 1.35pm: Shares in Ampella Mining have soared after one-time Perth-based gold miner Centamin launched an all-scrip $40.9 million takeover offer for the West Africa-focused gold explorer.
In the bid announced after market close yesterday, Centamin is offering one of its shares for every five Ampella shares, valuing Ampella at the equivalent of 16 cents a share – a 77 per cent premium to its 20-day weighted average price.
Shares in Ampella soared 5.5 cents, or 73.33 per cent, to 13 cents by the close after trading as high as 14.2 cents.
The Centamin offer, which values Ampella at $40.9 million, was recommended by the Ampella board while the company’s largest shareholder, Taurus Funds Management (18.88 per cent) has entered into a pre-bid acceptance agreement to accept the offer.
Ampella is currently developing its wholly owned Batie West gold project in Burkina Faso, which holds 3.25 million ounces of gold.
The Perth-based company has been one of the hardest hit during this year’s gold downturn, with its shares dropping by more than half over the past six months.
It has been actively searching for a joint venture partner or suitor for the past two years.
Centamin, now based in UK-governed island of Jersey, is focused on its flagship Sukari mine which produced 84,757oz in the September quarter.
However it has been locked in a year-long battle with the Egyptian government over its right to mine at the site, which has sent its London-listed share price plummeting.