‘Never done until it is done’: Perseus raises stakes in battle for OreCorp

Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) has upped the ante in its bid to acquire African gold explorer OreCorp (ASX:ORR), scuppering an offer from Vancouver-based Silvercorp (TSX:SVM) in the process.

In an announcement to the ASX yesterday (20 March 2024), OreCorp said it had received an amended proposal from Perseus, under which it would increase its offer from $0.55 to $0.575 per OreCorp share. However, the increased bid would only take effect if OreCorp formally recommends that shareholders accept it.

Notably, major OreCorp shareholders Nick Giorgetta, who holds 10.47% of the shares on issue, and Tim Goyder, who holds 5.14%, have expressed their intention to accept the amended proposal should it get the support of OreCorp’s board.

In response to questions submitted by Mining.com.au, Perseus Chairman and CEO Jeff Quartermaine said Giorgetta and Goyder “are both respected for their business acumen by a number of market participants.”

“To the extent that shareholders of OreCorp take their lead from these gentlemen, then it would follow that their acceptance of our offer may well cause others to follow suit,” Quartermaine added.

Perseus’s all-cash offer is now considered by OreCorp to be superior to that of Silvercorp’s, which seeks to convert each OreCorp share into 0.0967 Silvercorp shares and deliver $0.19 per share to OreCorp investors.

That offer was backed by OreCorp’s board in August last year, and Silvercorp, which has been on a media bender in recent months to promote its offer, now has until 27 March 2024 to match or exceed Perseus’s proposal.

Silvercorp President Lon Shaver could not be reached for comment, but a spokesperson for the company said “we are currently evaluating our strategic options.”

For his part, however, Quartermaine isn’t resting on his laurels.

“A transaction is never done until it is done,” he said.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves other than to start thinking about the long journey ahead, if our offer is accepted by a majority of OreCorp’s shareholders.”

Perseus’s offer is set to expire on 19 April 2024.

Write to Oliver Gray at Mining.com.au

Images: OreCorp
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Written By Oliver Gray
Originally from Perth, Oliver has a keen interest long-form journalism. He has written for a number of publications and was most recently Contributing Editor of The Market Herald’s opinion section, Art of the Essay.