Aurizon Urges Shareholders To Back Deal With Hecla

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Aurizon Mines Ltd. said Tuesday that its shareholders should reject Alamos Gold Inc.'s takeover bid and approve the deal it struck to sell itself to Hecla Mining Co. for about $775 million.

Hecla, a Coeur D'Alene, Idaho-based silver miner, said Monday that it had agreed to acquire the Canadian gold miner's outstanding shares for cash and stock totaling 4.75 Canadian dollars ($4.63) each, 9 percent above the Friday closing price of Aurizon's U.S.-traded shares.

That came after Aurizon's January rejection of fellow Canadian gold miner Alamos' offer of 4.65 Canadian dollars per share in cash and stock.

Alamos released a statement late Monday saying that it would not boost its offer, which was set to expire on Tuesday. But it argued that the combination of Alamos with Aurizon would create a much more valuable company than the proposed deal with Hecla. Alamos has been buying Aurizon shares through a tender offer and currently holds about 16.1 percent of the company's stock.

Aurizon said Tuesday that the Hecla offer currently offers a higher premium than the Alamos offer, based on the Monday closing stock prices of both companies. It also noted that the Hecla offer allows for a much higher cash percentage than the Alamos offer.

In premarket trading, Hecla shares rose 9 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $4.16; Aurizon's U.S. shares slipped a penny to $4.33; and Alamos's U.S. shares were unchanged at $14.24.
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