SYDNEY (Reuters) - The independent directors of Extract Resources EXT.AX, owner of one of the world’s largest uranium mines, have backed a takeover offer from China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC)that values it at A$2.2 billion ($2.38 billion).
The recommendation for the A$8.65 a share offer, was made after Extract failed to uncover any rival bidders and takes CGNPC a step closer to winning control of the giant Husab uranium project in Namibia.
“After a lengthy and exhaustive process, as at today, no alternative and superior proposal has been received, nor are there any discussions underway with third parties,” Extract said in a statement.
In a complex deal, CGNPC -- which is bidding with the China-Africa Development Fund -- initially offered $990 million for Kalahari Minerals KAH.L, which owns 42.7 percent of Extract. It launched a bid for Extract last month after winning control of Kalahari.
Rio Tinto, which owns a 14 percent stake in Extract, had no immediate comment on whether it would accept the offer. The global miner had previously accepted the Chinese offer for a stake it held in Kalahari.
Husab is potentially the second-largest uranium mine in the world, and Rio Tinto has been in talks with Extract to combine its neighboring Rossing mine, the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine, with Husab.
Extract shares ended flat at A$8.60 in a broader market that fell 1 percent. ($1 = 0.9255 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Richard Pullin