‘A sitting duck’: Guyana Goldfields’ founder frets miner has become takeover target, launches proxy battle – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 11, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

In a sign of the increased shareholder activism creeping into the mining sector, the ousted founder of Toronto-headquartered Guyana Goldfields Inc. has launched a campaign to replace the company’s current board of directors.

On Thursday, Patrick Sheridan, Guyana Goldfield’s founder, who is leading the campaign to replace the board, announced his legal counsel sent a letter to the Toronto Stock Exchange this week, requesting it monitor any transaction made by the company in coming months.

The campaign follows a successful effort by U.S. billionaire John Paulson in 2018 to replace the board at Detour Gold Corp., and an ongoing effort announced in December by a shareholder in Hudbay Minerals Inc. to replace a majority of that company’s board.

Guyana Goldfields’ share price is down 70 per cent from its 52-week high, trading at $1.66, and Sheridan — who pegged the real value of the company between $5.50 and $7 per share — said he feared the decline has made the company into an attractive takeover target.

“This company, through management failures, is a sitting duck,” said Sheridan. On Jan. 2, he and a group of shareholders including the Northfield Capital Corp., which collectively control 5.4 per cent of the company, called for a shareholder meeting to replace the board of directors, form an ethics committee at the company, and begin “a strategic review.”

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