Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp, the largest silver miner in the US, today launched C$384 million ($383 million) bid for Canada's Orko Silver Corp, trumping an agreed C$315 million deal with First Majestic Silver Corp.
In December 2012, First Majestic announced a friendly takeover of Orko Silver by offering to pay in stock and cash at C$2.72 per share, a premium of 69 per cent on the prevailing share price at the time.
The agreed deal would see Orko Silver shareholders owning 13 per cent of the merged entity, and investors of First Majestic holding the remaining.
Coeur d'Alene is offering the same C$2.72 per share offered by First Majestic, but claims that its offer is superior since its cash component is 70 Canadian cents per share, compared with C$0.0001 per share of First Majestic.
Orko announced that its board has unanimously determined that Coeur d'Alene's offer is a "superior proposal" compared to its agreed deal with First Majestic and has given First Majestic five business days to amend its offer to match Coeur d'Alene's proposal, failing which Orko will enter into a definitive agreement with Coeur d'Alene.
Orko also said that if First Majestic does not amend its offer by 19 February, it will terminate the agreement and pay First Majestic the agreed termination fee of C$11.6 million.
The battle for Orko Silver lies with the Vancouver-based miner's La Preciosa deposit in Mexico, touted to be one of the world's largest undeveloped silver projects.