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Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Endeavour gets its wish for deadline extension on Centamin merger offer

M&A WATCH- It’s a Christmas miracle: Endeavour gets deadline extension to make a merger offer to Centamin: A UK regulator gave Egypt-focused miner Centamin approval to give Canada’s Endeavour Mining more time to make a takeover offer “as shareholder pressure mounted on the London-listed gold miner to engage in talks,” Reuters reports. The new deadline is 14 January from an initial 31 December under UK law. Endeavour had appealed to Centamin to request an extension until 31 January, saying it has little time to study Centamin’s assets, which only include the Sukari gold mine and Cleopatra project in Egypt. The deadline was triggered when Centamin rejected an all-share merger bid from Endeavour.

Additional note for the hometown audience: This is another Naguib Sawiris production: VanEck International Investors, a major shareholder in both companies, and Naguib Sawiris’ La Mancha, the largest shareholder in Endeavour, have both urged Centamin to make the merger work.

Background: Centamin’s board rejected Endeavour’s initial offer on the grounds that it would disproportionately benefit Endeavour’s shareholders. The Canadian miner offered to exchange 0.0846 of its shares for every Centamin share, valuing the latter’s share capital at around USD 1.9 bn. Centamin would have received a 47.1% stake in the new company while Endeavour would have been the majority shareholder. Centamin said last week that Endeavour is refusing to share information for a reciprocal due diligence exercise that leaders of both companies agreed to conduct in a meeting last week, and that Endeavour would refuse to go ahead with the due diligence proposal unless it was granted the extension on the deadline to present a new bid.

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