Guangdong Wins PanAust After Sweetening Bid to A$1.2 Billion

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Guangdong Rising Assets Management Co., a state-owned Chinese investor, won acceptance from PanAust Ltd. after sweetening its bid to value the copper producer at about A$1.2 billion ($950 million).

PanAust’s board accepted the increased offer of A$1.85 a share from its largest shareholder, according to its statement Friday. That’s 8 percent higher than an earlier bid of A$1.71 a share that was rejected last month.

The higher offer “enables our shareholders to realize a compelling premium for their shares and provides certain cash value,” PanAust Chairman Garry Hounsell said in the statement.

PanAust, which closed at A$1.73 a share yesterday before it was halted, said it hasn’t received any superior offers. The Brisbane-based company said last month that it had been approached by other investors interested in helping fund its copper and gold project in Papua New Guinea.

PanAust, seeking to develop one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits at Frieda River, last year rejected Guangdong Rising’s earlier offer of A$2.30 a share. Guangdong Rising owns about 24 percent of the company already, according to PanAust’s statement.

(Updates to add comments from PanAust in third paragraph.)
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