St Barbara set to complete $768m Atlantic Gold takeover in a month

The Moose River site in Nova Scotia, Canada. Image: Atlantic Gold

St Barbara’s $768 million acquisition of Canadian miner Atlantic Gold is moving towards completion, with the settlement date now set for July 20 (July 19 in Canada).

The Supreme Court of British Columbia in Canada has issued an interim order authorising Atlantic Gold to organise a shareholder meeting on July 15 to vote on the transaction, which will incorporate the company’s Moose River gold mines in Nova Scotia into St Barbara.

As of June 14, St Barbara had $870 million in cash and deposits on hand for the settlement, in addition to an undrawn $200 million, three-year revolving facility with Westpac.

St Barbara offered one new share for every 3.1 existing shares in the company held up to May 17 at an offer price of $2.89 per new share.

About $490 million of the $870 million was raised in an entitlement offer that drew some criticism from investors as it was announced not long before St Barbara downgraded its Gwalia gold mine production guidance in a May 31 release.

In response to an ASX Aware query posted on June 4, St Barbara explained that it believed the announcement of the downgrade was not information that a “reasonable person would expect to have a material effect on the price or value of its securities”.

The company attributed the downgrade at Gwalia to a “one-off factor”, the temporary blockage of the paste reticulation circuit, which has now been resolved.

Gwalia’s 2019 financial year production estimate dropped to around 220,000 ounces from the previously announced 235,000240,000 ounces

The company allowed investors who applied for new shares to fund the Atlantic Gold acquisition to withdraw, a situation that left underwriter Deutsche Bank with a $127 million shortfall to cover.

In addition to the acquisition update, St Barbara reported that it has increased its shares in New South Wales-based explorer Peel Mining.

St Barbara purchased around 4.34 million ordinary shares for $1.56 million, taking its total number of held shares to roughly 39 million for a 16.1 per cent share of the company.

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