Cardinal Resources subject of takeover battle between Chinese and Russian bidders

Ghana-focused gold explorer Cardinal Resources has received a fresh takeover bid from Russian miner Nord Gold, after being subject to an offer from China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co last month.

UK-headquartered Nord Gold has offered to buy all shares in Cardinal that it does not already own, valuing the ASX-listed company’s equity at US$243 million.

The offer represents an 11.9% premium to Cardinal’s last close, as well as a 10% premium to the bid lodged by Shandong.

In June, Cardinal’s board endorsed the all-cash Shandong offer, but today issued a ‘take no action’ advice to shareholders in relation to the Nord Gold bid.

Nord Gold is currently Cardinal’s largest shareholder with a voting power of 18.7% and made an initial takeover proposal in March, to no avail.

The company is controlled by business tycoon Alexey Mordashov and his two sons. Mordashov is reported to be Russia’s fourth richest man and is the owner of the steel and coal giant Severstal.

Nord Gold operates 10 mines across four countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Guinea – and is keen to add Cardinal’s Ghanaian assets to its portfolio.

Cardinal owns two gold exploration assets in Ghana – Bolgatanga and Subranum. The projects have a mineral reserve of 138.6 million tonnes at 1.13 grams per tonne gold, for a contained 5.1 million ounces.