A Montana-based company has set its eyes on a takeover of Dominion Diamond Corporation to the tune of US$1.1 billion.
That guidance notwithstanding, when you consider that Dominion Diamond's last earnings report featured a near-30% drop in revenues, and that the company has been losing money for more than a year, the prospect of a huge premium to last week's share price probably looks pretty attractive to investors today.
Washington Cos., which has interests in mining, marine and rail transportation and heavy equipment distribution, said it has a long track record of making businesses grow throughout North America, with expertise in the mining industry and the Canadian market.
Dominion has ownership interest in two major diamond mines in Canada's Northwest Territories.
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The Montana-based private company is offering $13.50 Dollars ($18.04 CAD) per share cash for Dominion Diamond.
"We are disappointed that Dominion's board has thus far prevented Washington from moving ahead with its proposal under which shareholders would receive a substantial premium and immediate liquidity, but we remain fully committed to completing this transaction", said Lawrence Simkins, Washington Cos.' president, in the statement. The stock rose 24 per cent to $12.29 at 9:48 a.m.in New York Monday.
In short, Dominion Diamond is not terribly enthused with the offer, and there's no guarantee that any acquisition will happen, at any price. "While the Board considered the expression of interest to be opportunistic, and believes that it does not recognize all of the value in the Company under its current business plan, the Board told WashCorps that it was prepared to engage in discussions with them on customary terms, including a customary standstill, and allow WashCorps to conduct extensive due diligence on Dominion's unique assets and growth potential in order to improve their expression of interest".
They included, according to the statement, the ability to see confidential information that could later be used for a proxy fight to take over the company, and the ability to veto the board's choice of the new chief executive officer.
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On Sunday, Dominion Diamond said its board hadn't closed the door on the deal with Washington Cos. but wouldn't accept opening its books to a third party without certain protections.
"Dominion still refused. As a result, discussions have ended".
TD Securities Inc.is acting as financial adviser for Dominion Diamonds while Stikeman Elliott LLP is providing legal advice.
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