VANCOUVER, British Columbia (TheStreet) -- A bidding war for Canplats Resources, a Canadian junior gold-mining outfit, grew hotter Monday after the company said it received a bid that was "financially superior" to the already-sweetened offer from its original suitor, Goldcorp (GG) .
Late Sunday, Canplats issued a press release saying it had received a sweetened offer from
, a joint venture between Mexico-based silver miner Fresnillo and Denver's
Penmont is now offering C$4.60 in cash, up from C$4.20 a share, plus stock of a newly formed company with a notional value of 20 Canadian cents a share. Canplats said the new Penmont offer is 9% more than Goldcorp's previous bid, which valued the junior miner at about C$254 million.
Under the terms of Goldcorp's original deal with Canplats, Goldcorp has until Jan. 5 to make a counteroffer.
The prize everyone is after: a project being developed by Canplats in Mexico called Camino Rojo, which could eventually yield about 3.4 million ounces of gold and 60.7 million ounces of silver.
Both Penmont and Goldcorp would keep Camino Rojo and spin off everything else.
This marks the second time that Penmont has come in and offered more for Canplats since last week.
Goldcorp originally struck a deal to buy Canplats in November, an all-stock offer that valued Canplats at 3.60 Canadian dollars per share. A kind of go-shop provision allowed other bidders to enter the process, but under the terms of the initial agreement, Goldcorp had only to match a rival bid in order to cement a deal.
Last week, Minera Penmont entered the picture, and Goldcorp matched, offering C$4.20 in cash, plus the shares of the newly formed company.
Canplats shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposal on Jan. 14.
No matter what it decides, Canplats and its buyer are on the hook for breakup fees: 10.2 million Canadian dollars to Penmont and 9.3 million to Goldcorp.
Goldcorp shares were trading Monday at $40.23, down 0.7%. Newmont shares were moving at $47.48, down 1%.
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
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