March 23, 2017

Dominion Diamond Receives US$1.1 Billion Unsolicited Bid from The Washington Companies

21 March 2017, 02:44 | Ross Houston

Dominion Diamond said Washington Cos has no experience of diamond mining

Fistful of diamonds

Shares of Dominion Diamond Corp. soared following the weekend disclosure that the Canadian mining company is the target of a takeover offer reported to be worth about US$1.1 billion.

The all-cash $1.1 billion offer was sent to the Dominion board of directors on February 21, according to the statement, but subsequent discussions broke down.

The Montana-based company is offering US$13.50 per share in cash for Dominion Diamond stock, which is traded in Toronto and NY.

The offer price of $13.50 represents a 36 per cent premium to Dominion's closing stock price on March 17 and a 54 per cent premium to the price when discussions ended on March 15, according to Washington.

Dominion has ownership interest in two major diamond mines in Canada's Northwest Territories.

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On Sunday, Dominion Diamond said its board hadn't closed the door on the deal with Washington Cos. but wouldn't accept opening its books to a third party without certain protections.

"Based on the presentation received from WashCorps, and by their own admission, the Board confirmed that WashCorps does not have experience in the highly specialized diamond mining and marketing industry", Dominion said.

"WashCorps has also refused to accept a customary form of standstill that would restrict it from using the confidential information to acquire control of the company".

When Washington initially made the offer to Dominion, it said in a letter that it was basing its proposed purchase price on "knowledge of (Dominion) from publicly available sources".

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