Hecla Mining Company ( NYSE:HL) (Hecla or the Company) today reaffirmed the premium value of its proposed acquisition of Aurizon Mines Ltd. (TSX:ARZ) (NYSE MKT:AZK) (Aurizon) announced on March 4, 2013, pursuant to an arrangement agreement (Hecla Arrangement) with Aurizon. Hecla also cautioned Aurizon shareholders that its largest shareholder Alamos Gold Inc. (Alamos) is attempting to increase its ownership position to a level that would prevent Aurizon shareholders from accepting a higher price. All currencies are CAD$ unless otherwise noted.
“Alamos continues to try to distract Aurizon shareholders from the simple fact that the Hecla Arrangement is currently valued at $0.31 per share more than the Alamos offer, which is valued even lower than the current share price of Aurizon. About two thirds of Hecla’s offer is available in cash, Alamos’ is less than half,” said Phillips S. Baker Jr., Hecla’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Alamos’ avowed attempt to block the Hecla arrangement by increasing its minority position to a blocking position rather than letting shareholders decide, illustrates the weakness of Alamos’ offer. We believe that Aurizon shareholders will prefer a higher price, more cash and an interest in Hecla to Alamos’ lower price, less cash and an interest in a company with assets outside Canada and the U.S. We join the Aurizon board in urging Aurizon shareholders not to tender to the Alamos transaction.”
Hecla is offering significantly more value than the Alamos offer
- A higher price - based on the closing share prices of Hecla and Alamos on March 13, 2013, the Hecla Arrangement provides $0.31 more value than the Alamos bid.
- More cash - the Hecla arrangement offers Aurizon shareholders greater value certainty through a maximum $513.6 million in cash, which is 68% higher than the maximum amount of cash offered by Alamos ($305 million maximum cash). Roughly two thirds of the Hecla Arrangement is in cash with Alamos’ bid being less than half.
Alamos’ statements appear to be misleadingAlamos has publicly stated its intention to use its minority stake in Aurizon in order to “block” the higher-value Hecla Arrangement, rather than offering full value to all Aurizon shareholders. Alamos claims sufficient support to achieve its objective despite:
- the shares tendered having declined since the announcement of the Hecla Arrangement,
- successively qualifying the level of purported support for the Alamos bid via a March 12, 2013, news release and a March 13, 2013, filing with the SEC, and
- confirming that all shares tendered are subject to withdrawal.