Gemfields’ Biggest Investor Makes Buyout Offer

Rough Emeralds
A selection of rough emeralds mined by London-based colored gemstone miner Gemfields. The company’s biggest shareholder, Pallinghurst Resources, has offered to buy it out, citing disappointment with the company’s share price.

London–Gemfields biggest investor has made an unsolicited offer to buy out the remaining shares of the company but the miner’s board said it has advised shareholders not to take action yet.

London-based private equity firm Pallinghurst Resources Ltd. has offered to buy the 53 percent of Gemfields it doesn’t already own for about $145.2 million.

Gemfields said in a company statement that Pallinghurst has not engaged with it regarding the unsolicited offer and that its independent board is reviewing the offer with its advisers.

The board advised shareholders not to take any action right now.

However, Pallinghurst said it has received acceptances from Gemfields shareholders representing about 28 percent of the company, which, when combined with its own stake in the company, gives it about a 75 percent backing and makes the offer unconditional.

The takeover bid comes as part of Pallinghurst’s own proposed restructuring to help improve performance and increase its value.

Pallinghurst said that should Gemfields accept the offer, it would aim to delist the company from the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.

It also would not only focus on the company’s core emerald and ruby operations in Zambia and Mozambique but also accelerate the “development of its existing portfolio of projects” to mitigate its dependency on its assets, and explore all alternatives for Fabergé.

As for its reasoning behind the offer, Pallinghurst said that since it has been Gemfields’ biggest shareholder from the start, “unlocking Gemfields’ full value potential is of paramount importance.”

Pallinghurst added that “the performance of the Gemfields share price has been disappointing and, despite the major positive developments, Gemfields’ shareholders, including Pallinghurst, have not benefited appropriately.”

The company did not respond when asked if Gemfields’ decision to pull out of Colombia and Sri Lanka played any part in its making an offer.

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