Perseus extends window for OreCorp takeover

In an effort to get its offer over the line, Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) has extended its takeover bid for OreCorp (ASX:ORR) to 19 April, 2024.

The offer, which seeks to acquire all OreCorp shares not already held by Perseus for $0.55 in cash each, had previously been due to expire on 19 March.

It follows a decision by Silvercorp (TSX:SVM) to extend its competing offer for OreCorp, which had previously been due to close on 8 March but will now expire on 22 March. Silvercorp’s offer, which OreCorp’s directors backed in August last year, would convert each OreCorp share into 0.0967 Silvercorp shares and deliver $0.19 per share to OreCorp investors.

Central to the Silvercorp-Perseus bidding war is OreCorp’s Nyanzaga Gold Project in Tanzania, which hosts a probable ore reserve measuring 40.08 million tonnes at 2.02 grams per tonne (g/t) gold for 2.6 million contained ounces. According to a Definitive Feasibility Study completed in 2022, a 4-million-tonnes-per-year open pit and underground mining operation has been proposed, with a 10.7-year life and pay-back period of 3.7 years.

Perseus currently owns three gold mines in Africa — Edikan in Ghana, and Sissingué and Yaouré in Côte d’Ivoire — but has been shopping around for potential add-ons after violence in Sudan forced it to put a pin in its Meyas Sand Gold Project.

Perseus’s decision to extend the expiry of its offer also follows the receipt of a letter indicating support for the company’s Tanzanian Fair Competition Commission (FCC) approval.

“Following expiration of the 14-day public notice period for FCC approval, Perseus has been informed that on Monday 4 March 2024, the Treasury Registrar provided the FCC with a letter of support for Perseus’s FCC approval application,” Perseus said in an announcement.

“This is the key final milestone before the FCC granting offer approval. As such, Perseus expects offer approval at the next sitting of the FCC committee. Perseus has been advised that this meeting should occur next week.”

Silvercorp has in recent months seized Perseus’s lack of FCC approval as a major issue with its offer. However, Perseus says the receipt of approval will satisfy the remaining relevant conditions, and that its offer “will practicably be the same” as Silvercorp’s.

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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.