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Message: $13.06 Verbal Agreement

Ventana accepts sweetened AUX bid

Toronto— Reuters
Published Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 8:42AM EST
Last updated Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 9:37AM EST

Ventana Gold Corp. (VEN-T12.870.594.80%) said Monday it agreed to a sweetened bid from Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista to buy the shares he doesn’t already own and which values the company at around $1.5-billion.

Ventana, which owns the promising La Bodega gold property in Colombia, agreed to the $13.06 a share offer after fighting off a $12.63 a share hostile bid from Mr. Batista, for nearly three months.


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“During the evening of Sunday, February 13, 2011, Ventana reached an oral agreement with AUX Canada Acquisition Inc. on an increased offer of $13.06,” Ventana said in a statement.

The new offer represents a premium of 30.2 percent to the closing price of Ventana’s common shares on Nov. 16, just before AUX announced its hostile proposal.

Mr. Batista, already Ventana’s largest shareholder with a 20-per-cent stake, last week indicated he had no intention of raising his offer for Ventana, which was to expire Feb. 15.

The two parties said on Monday they will work together to finalize an agreement, and AUX will extend its offer beyond the current expiry date. Ventana said its board will support the revised AUX offer.

Ventana’s La Bodega gold property promises to become one of the first significant gold mines in Colombia since the nation’s new economic and political stability following years of internal strife ushered in a new gold rush.

Mr. Batista, one of Brazil’s best-known personalities, has been trying to buy Ventana for years to add it to his global portfolio of mining and oil properties.

The first bid was in November 2009, when he made a private offer for $12 a share plus stock. Last February he offered Ventana shareholders $10 a share plus stock in a new company.

And the day before making his hostile bid at $12.63 a share he had proposed a friendly $13.06-a-share deal, which was rejected at the time.

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