Northern Star offers $150m to buy out East Kundana JV

Northern Star Resources has bid $150 million to acquire the 49 per cent stake it does not already own of the East Kundana joint venture in Western Australia from Tribune Resources, Rand Mining and Rand Exploration.

The gold miner has offered $112.5 million cash to acquire Tribune’s 36.75 per cent interest and $37.5 million for Rand Mining and Rand Exploration’s 12.25 per cent share.

Northern Star’s offer follows a September order from the Takeovers Panel for the companies to add clarity to the market of a cross ownership structure.

The Takeovers Panel stated on September 17 that the market had not been informed, and continued not to be informed, of parties that own a relevant interest in shares held by Tribune’s three largest shareholders, including Rand Mining.

Northern Star, as a shareholder of Tribune and Rand Mining, said it shared the concerns of other shareholders of the two companies following the Takeovers Panel’s declaration, which pointed to unacceptable circumstances in connection with non-disclosure of controlling interests.

It believes the offer is a “fair and sensible outcome” for Tribune and Rand shareholders in light of the Takeover Panel’s declaration.

Northern Star chairman Bill Beament said the offers represented an outstanding opportunity for Tribune and Rand shareholders.

“The $150 million price offers compelling, up front value to Tribune and Rand,” Beament said.

“The cash offer to acquire the assets is a direct and clear means for Tribune and Rand shareholders to unlock the value of their company’s interests.

“This combination of factors makes our offers a far simpler and more transparent opportunity for Tribune and Rand shareholders than alternative pathways.”

Northern Star’s subsidiaries are the manager, mine operator and life-of-mine ore processor of the JV and supply the operation’s workers.

Tribune and Rand have previously said they would sell gold inventories to pay a special dividend to shareholders.

Northern Star believes by accepting the offer it will put the companies in a position to consider paying this dividend to its shareholders.

Tribune, which has admitted to errors when reporting the interests of its major shareholders, is assessing the bid and is yet to formally respond to Northern Star.