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Four firms act on energy offer

Four firms act on energy offer

Ashurst, Minter Ellison, Koep & Partners and Lawrence Graham are advising in a $967 million cash offer for an AIM and NSX-listed mining company with uranium, gold and copper interests

Ashurst, Minter Ellison, Koep & Partners and Lawrence Graham are advising in a $967 million cash offer for an AIM and NSX-listed mining company with uranium, gold and copper interests in Namibia.

Minter Ellison is advising Taurus Mineral on its recommended cash offer for Kalahari Minerals plc (Kalahari), advised by London firm Lawrence Graham.

Taurus Mineral is indirectly owned by Chinese state-owned CGNPC Uranium Resources Company (CGNPC-URC) and PRC-based CADFund.

Ashurst is advising CGNPC-URC on UK legal aspects.

Kalahari's key asset is its approximate 42.5 per cent holding in Extract Resources Limited, a Perth-based company that is listed on the ASX, TSX and NSX.

Extract owns a 100 per cent interest in and is developing the Husab uranium project in Namibia, which is ranked as the 4th-largest uranium deposit in the world.

CGNPC-URC is a nuclear power producer with interests in nuclear fuels procurement and production. CADFund is an equity investment fund in the PRC focusing on African investments.

By CGNPC-URC acquiring control of Kalahari, the 20 per cent threshold for making a takeover offer for Extract would be exceeded.

CGNPC-URC has obtained relief from ASIC to acquire a relevant interest in more than 20 per cent of Extract on the basis that it proposes to make a downstream takeover bid for Extract Resources Limited.

On the Australian legal aspects of this latest transaction, Minters M&A/energy & resources Melbourne-based partner Marcus Best led the team which included Minters equity capital markets Melbourne-based partner Bart Oude-Vrielink; E & R Perth-based partner Andrew Thompson; and M&A Melbourne-based senior associate David Schiavello.

Ashurst's advisory team was led by Hong Kong corporate partner Robert Ogilvy Watson, with assistance from London corporate partner Adrian Clark, London corporate counsel Karen Davies, and Hong Kong associate Victor Chan.

The recommended cash offer for Kalahari was around $967 million and the proposed downstream takeover offer for Extract, if required to be made, would imply a value of approximately $2.18 billion.

Speaking on the complex cross-jurisdictional transaction, Best said it was an "example of the implementation of the 'go out' policy of the Chinese Government in seeking investments to secure long-term supplies of important commodities for China's further development".

"This deal recognises China's emphasis on diversifying energy resources and its intended very substantial increase in nuclear generating capacity," said Best.

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