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TORONTO – Osisko Mining Corp. has launched a war of words with hostile suitor Goldcorp Inc., saying it never received a “reasonable” offer from the gold mining giant.
As expected, Osisko formally rejected the $2.6-billion offer from Goldcorp on Monday. But what stood out most was Osisko’s interpretation of prior negotiations with Goldcorp.
Last week, Goldcorp revealed that it made three separate takeover offers for Montreal-based Osisko in 2008 and 2009, and claimed Osisko “continually” refused to entertain them. It also said that Osisko refused to hand over private information, even after the two sides signed a confidentiality agreement.
The implication was that Osisko’s board was acting entrenched and not giving shareholders the chance to evaluate bids. Osisko chief executive Sean Roosen offered a vastly different take on Monday. He claimed all three of the proposals were “value destructive” and came at a discount to the current share price.
“Goldcorp never provided a reasonable proposal. For them to now suggest otherwise is entirely false,” he said on a conference call.
For example, he said that Goldcorp’s first bid, which came at the height of the financial crisis in November 2008, was worth just $1.78 a share. At the time, Osisko was struggling to raise money to build its Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec.
“We tried unsuccessfully to have Goldcorp increase the price to a reasonable number, but the response back was that Osisko would never be able to finance, never be able to build [Canadian Malartic] on a standalone basis. And it was time to accept this fate,” Mr. Roosen said.
Ultimately, Osisko raised more than $1-billion in 2009 and built the Quebec-based Canadian Malartic mine on its own.
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