BRITISH COLUMBIA

Orko Silver to go with $382M bid by Coeur d'Alene after First Majestic refuses to match

02/20/2013 07:33 EST | Updated 04/22/2013 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - Orko Silver Corp. (TSXV:OK) says it will go ahead with an offer by U.S.-based Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. after First Majestic Silver Corp declined to match the $382-million rival bid.

Vancouver-based First Majestic (TSX:FR), which is now entitled to a $11.6-million break fee from the junior exploration company, had the right to match the superior offer within five days of notification.

Coeur d'Alene's offer (NYSE:CDE) of cash and shares with an implied value of C$2.70 per share was up to 25 per cent higher than the bid by First Majestic on Dec. 12.

"The offer by Coeur represents a substantial increase in the consideration to Orko shareholders. The ability for shareholders to elect cash or share consideration, or a combination of the two, provides additional flexibility," said Gary Cope, Orko president and CEO in a release.

"Coeur has a demonstrated track record of developing, commissioning and operating large-scale precious metals assets as well as the financial resources necessary to bring Orko's La Preciosa project into production. The combination will provide Orko's shareholders with exposure to a more diversified operating portfolio while retaining upside related to La Preciosa."

The deal is still subject to the approval of shareholders at a special meeting in April.

Orko is junior exploration company focused on silver properties in Mexico, one of the countries where First Majestic also operates.

Its shares closed Wednesday down 10.08 per cent, or 25 cents, at $2.23 on the TSX Venture Exchange.