Bloomberg News

Rio Gets Canadian Bureau Clearance for Hathor Takeover Bid

November 23, 2011

(Updates with offer in third paragraph.)

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group received clearance from the Canadian Competition Bureau for its C$654 million ($630 million) bid to buy uranium miner Hathor Exploration Ltd., the last hurdle for the industry’s richest takeover offer.

The Commissioner of Competition issued a “no action letter” certifying compliance with all requirements of Canada’s Competition Act, the London-based company said today in a statement. There are no other regulatory reviews of the transaction, said Karen Halbert, a spokeswoman for Rio in Melbourne.

Rio, based in London, last week raised its offer for the Vancouver, Canada-based uranium miner to fend off a hostile bid from Cameco Corp. The latest bid of C$4.70 a share by Rio represents a 76 percent premium to Hathor’s closing price on Aug. 25, the day before Cameco made its initial offer.

Acquiring the Canadian uranium miner will give Rio, which mines uranium in Australia and Namibia, control of the Roughrider deposit in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin containing about 78 million pounds (35.4 million kilograms) of the mineral, which is used to make fuel for nuclear reactors.

Rio’s latest offer is also 65 percent higher than Hathor’s average price in the 20 days before Cameco announced its tender offer on Aug. 26.

The premium would also be the biggest for any takeover worth at least $250 million in the non-ferrous metals industry, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Hathor’s board unanimously recommends investors accept its offer, Rio said today.

--Editors: Aaron Sheldrick, Ryan Woo

To contact the reporter on this story: Soraya Permatasari in Melbourne at soraya@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net


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