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Gemfields steps up fight against takeover by largest investor


Actress Mila Kunis is Gemfields’ brand ambassador. (Image: Screenshot from Gemfields 2014’s advert| YouTube)

Emeralds and rubies miner Gemfields (LON:GEM) said Wednesday a group of independent directors recommended shareholders to reject a takeover bid by largest investor Pallinghurst Resources Limited.

The Johannesburg-listed private equity firm wants to buy all the shares it doesn’t already own in Gemfields, but an “independent committee” formed by the precious stones miner has determined the offer “significantly undervalues the company, its unique asset base and its leading position in the coloured gemstone sector.”
“Pallinghurst Resources wants to buy all the shares it doesn’t already own in Gemfields, but miner said offer is “derisory.””

Shares in Gemfields fell on the news, closing 1.10% down in London to 33.75p.

The group of advisers is made up of chairman Graham Mascall, chief executive Ian Harebottle, chief financial officer Janet Boyce and non-executive directors Clive Newall and Finn Behnken.

Despite their close ties with Gemfields, the company said it considered the committee to be “free from conflicts of interest in respect of the unsolicited offer”.

Gemfields is the world’s biggest coloured gems producer, accounting for roughly a third of the world’s emeralds and rubies from two mines in Mozambique and Zambia. The miner also owns the luxury Fabergé brand.

Pallinghurst also has interests in the platinum and manganese sector in South Africa, but Gemfields is the assets where it has the largest share. The firm has until June 16 to release full details of its offer for Gemfields under Takeover Panel rules.

Henry Sapiecha