by Jim Nintzel
The Range has been hearing more rumbles lately about the possibility that Rosemont Copper might sell the open-pit mining operation it's developing in the Santa Rita Mountains once it gets all the permits it needs to operate.
But now it appears the Canadian company may be facing a hostile takeover from Hudbay Minerals Inc. The Motley Fool notes:
What: Shares of Augusta Resource Corp. (TSX:AZC) soared 25% today after HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) agreed to acquire the rest of the Vancouver-based miner that it doesn’t already own for about $540 million.
So what: The all-stock deal — 0.315 of a HudBay share for each Augusta share held — values Augusta at roughly $2.96 per share and represents a premium of about 18% to its closing price on Friday. HudBay is making the move primarily to advance Augusta’s Rosemont Copper deposit near Tucson, Arizona, but judging by its own stock’s 5% pullback today, Mr. Market isn’t exactly thrilled with the price management is offering to do it.
Now what: If accepted by Augusta, HudBay expects the transaction to be significantly accretive to its key per-share metrics. “The Offer presents a unique opportunity for Augusta shareholders to receive a substantial premium and participate in Hudbay’s low-cost, long-life assets in mining friendly jurisdictions with world-class copper production growth,” said HudBay CEO David Garofalo. “We strongly believe in the merits of this transaction and the benefits to both companies’ shareholders.”
So while Augusta’s upside might be limited at this point, HudBay’s potentially bolstered production prospects might be worth looking into.
Here's Rosemont's PR note on Hudbay's announcement yesterday that it would move to acquire the company:
Augusta Resource Corporation states that its Board of Directors will meet this week to discuss the press release of Hudbay Minerals issued on Sunday, February 9, 2014 that announces their intention to commence an offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Augusta. The Company will update its shareholders following that board meeting. In the meantime, shareholders are urged to take no actions in connection with the Hudbay offer.