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Cameco could be gearing up for acquisition: analyst
(Reuters) - A move by Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) to raise C$1 billion ($972.5 million) could be a sign that the world's largest publicly-listed uranium miner is looking to make an acquisition, an analyst said on Wednesday.
Cameco filed a base shelf prospectus on Tuesday to raise up to C$1 billion over the next 25 months through a combination of debt, equity and hybrid offerings, but did not specify what the funds would be used for.
The uranium miner is developing numerous major projects, and should be able to finance those projects almost completely through cash flow from operation, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Sterck said.
"Thus, it is possible that Cameco has filed this prospectus to give it flexibility in the event of making an acquisition," he wrote in a note to clients.
Sterck highlighted Paladin Energy Ltd (PDN.AX), Denison Mines Corp (DML.TO) and UEX Corp (UEX.TO) as potential targets for the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based mining company.
Shares of Denison rose 7.75 percent to C$1.53, while UEX's stock was up 1.9 percent at 53 Canadian cents. Cameco's shares were flat at C$19.50.
Cameco, which plans to double uranium production to 40 million pounds a year by 2018, said last week that it will buy nuclear fuel broker Nukem Energy.
The Canadian miner made a deal with Areva earlier this year to buy the French nuclear giant's share of their Millenium joint venture in Saskatchewan.
Cameco is currently building the Cigar Lake mine in Saskachewan, which is set to start up in late 2013, along with major projects in Canada, the United States and Australia. ($1 = 1.0283 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Janet Guttsman)
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