Nordgold lobs $347m bid at Cardinal in takeover tussle

Cardinal Resources has become the focus of a takeover battle between United Kingdom-based Nordgold and China’s Shandong Gold Mining.

Shandong, the largest gold producer in China and also an asset owner in Argentina, launched an off-market takeover offer for Cardinal earlier this year.

This move was welcomed by Cardinal, a West African gold-focussed development company. Its board of directors unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer last month.

In response to the Norgold offer, Cardinal advised its shareholders to take no action upon receiving an unconditional takeover bid from its largest shareholder.

Norgold’s 66 cents a share offer represents a 164 per cent premium to Cardinal’s closing price on March 13 – valuing the company at $347 million – and is 10 per cent higher than Shandong Gold’s offer.

“Cardinal notes that it has obligations under the bid implementation agreement entered into with Shandong Gold Mining (Hong Kong) and Shandong Gold Mining on 18 June 2020,” Cardinal stated in an ASX announcement.

“Cardinal also notes that as the Nordgold takeover bid was unsolicited, it will need to be considered in detail by the board, together with the special purpose committee and its financial and legal advisers. Cardinal will provide an update to shareholders as soon as it is able.”

The target company holds interests in tenements within Ghana, West Africa and is advancing a feasibility study for the Namdini gold project.

Nordgold has prospective projects in feasibility study, advanced and early exploration phases in West Africa, Russia, French Guiana and Canada.

“Having carefully considered its strategy in the region, Nordgold is very pleased to extend this unconditional cash offer to Cardinal shareholders,” Nordgold chief executive Nikolai Zelenski said.

“Nordgold, which is already Cardinal’s largest shareholder, is committed to operating in West Africa, and has the project development expertise and robust balance sheet necessary to underwrite the successful construction and commissioning of the Namdini project, to the benefit of the local community and all stakeholders.

“Having received all relevant approvals, including regulatory approvals in Australia and Ghana, Nordgold is able to make its offer free of all conditions and with attractive expedited settlement terms.”

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