TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) - Dominion Diamond Corp of Canada, the world’s third-largest diamond producer by market value, is in advanced, friendly talks with the Washington Companies on a sweetened cash takeover bid, sources told Reuters.
Negotiations are currently focused on the two sides settling on a price, said the sources, who declined to speak publicly on the matter. A deal could be announced within weeks, they said.
It was unclear how much Washington Companies had increased its initial unsolicited cash proposal, of $13.50 a share, which was the catalyst for Dominion to formally put itself up for sale in March.
Dominion, which owns a majority stake in the Ekati mine and minority share of the nearby Diavik mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, had rejected Washington’s initial advance, saying it undervalued the company and terms of proposed talks were unacceptable.
The Washington Companies are a group of privately held North American mining, industrial and transportation businesses founded by industrialist and entrepreneur Dennis R. Washington.
Washington Companies declined to comment, while Dominion was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Susan Taylor and John Tilak; Editing by Denny Thomas)