Interest in Paladin

Paladin Energy may soon be the target of a takeover bid by Canadian miner Cameco.

Speculation has once again risen that Canadian uranium giant Cameco may be interested in acquiring Perth-based Paladin energy.

Cameco’s rumoured interest in the Australian uranium junior has been well known in the international uranium industry for several months, but the speculation has recently become more intense.

The Australian Financial Review this week reported that talk of the possible acquisition has heated up since Cameco received C$871 million (around $918 million) on 30 December last year from the sale of its stake in Centerra Gold

According to the Australian Financial Review, it would likely cost Cameco around $4 billion to buy Paladin, including a takeover premium.

In addition to Cameco’s positive financial situation, takeover speculation has been fueled by Paladin’s recent struggles, with the company’s market price falling 15% in the past three months.

Paladin also slashed its 2010 production forecast in October last year from 6.6 million pounds of uranium to between 5.6 million and 6.1 million pounds after delays to an upgrade at its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia and the replacement of equipment at the Kayelekera venture in Malawi.

Cameco chief executive Jerry Grandy said in an interview last November that Paladin is one of a number of potential acquisitions that the company finds attractive.

Paladin managing director John Borshoff was not immediately available for comment when contacted by MINING DAILY.

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