Cameco Corp. (TSX:CCO) officially commenced its $520 million hostile bid for Hathor Exploration Ltd. (TSX:HAT) today. On Friday, Cameco announced that it was planning the hostile bid after discussions concerning a friendly merger failed to ratify a deal. The bid, an all-cash offer of C$3.75 per share, represents a 40 percent premium on Hathor’s closing price of C$2.67 on Thursday and a 33% over Hathor’s 20-day volume-weighted average trading price. According to the company’s press release, Hathor shareholders must tend their shares to Cameco’s offer before it expires at 5:00 p.m. PST on October 31, 2011, unless the offer is extended or withdrawn.
Cameco, Canada’s top uranium producer, is looking to expand its output in the Athabasca basin. And this is welcome news to shareholders of Hathor Exploration. Hathor controls the coveted Roughrider deposit, an exploration stage uranium project near Cameco’s Rabbit Lake mill in Northern Saskatchewan. The Roughrider summer drill program commenced on June 7th, 2011 and results were received back from Saskatchewan Resource Council (SRC) on August 15th, 2011. The program extended the Far East Zone of the deposit.
Hathor Exploration is undertaking a preliminary assessment of options for development of its Roughrider deposit and expects commencing full scale economic scoping for the project later in 2011. On Monday, Hathor’s management team urged shareholders to wait for the official bid, and to not act until it had reviewed the offer and responded.
Uranium prices fell from $73 a pound in January 2011 as governments around the world reviewed nuclear plans following the Japanese tsunami crisis in March. But according to data compiled by Bloomberg, China and India are planning atomic power developments that will more than double global production even after Japan’s nuclear disaster. China and India are predicted to lead a 46 percent increase in uranium consumption by the world’s five biggest atomic-power developers by 2020. Currently, the uranium spot price is $50.50.