Officials at Canada’s Alamos Gold Inc. have filed an injunction with British Columbia’s Securities Commission against Aurizon Mines Ltd.’s second bid this month to merge with Hecla through a poison pill, according to a company statement. Vancouver-based Alamos officials say Aurizon has taken an “extraordinary step” by adopting a second poison pill measure to steer own shareholders of that company from accepting Alamos’ offer. “The Aurizon board has had more than enough time to seek a superior offer and was unsuccessful,” said the release.
Alamos CEO John A. McCluskey denied his company’s intentions towards Hecla are strictly benign and “is forcing no one to tender to its offer,” he said. “We believe Aurizon shareholders should have the right to choose either way – it is the Aurizon board … that is effectively blocking Aurizon shareholders from tendering to the Alamos offer.”
McCluskey also said Aurizon officials overstepped their boundaries when putting in place a $27 million break fee connected with the Hecla deal. “The board knew Alamos owned 16.1% of Aurizon’s shares and knew that we had received strong support from other large shareholders, making it unlikely for the Hecla transaction to proceed,” he told The Montreal Gazette.
Toronto-based Alamos is an established gold producer that owns and operates the Mulatos mine in Mexico, and has exploration and development activities in Mexico and Turkey and employs more than 600 people in both countries; Aurizon owns eight properties in Quebec including the Casa Berardi gold mine along with several development and exploration projects.
Hecla Mining Co., which operates silver mines in Alaska and Idaho, previously agreed to buy Aurizon for $760 million in a cash-and-stock deal that it said trumped Alamos’ rival offer.