Cameco exits from bidding war with Rio Tinto over uranium miner Hathor

Canada's Cameco Corp, the world's largest uranium producer, has bowed out from the bidding war over uranium miner Hathor Exploration, after the Anglo Australian mining giant Rio Tinto last week raised its offer to $654 million.

Citing financial discipline for its decision, Saskatoon-based Cameco said in a brief statement that it will let its bid lapse.

"After careful consideration, we cannot justify increasing the price beyond our current offer," Cameco's chief executive Tim Gitzel said.

Although armed with about $1.2-billion in cash and having credit facilities of $1.25-billion, with the potential to expand to $1.75-billion, Cameco may have given up looking at Rio Tinto's strong balance sheet.

Cameco first made a hostile bid in August and Rio Tinto joined in the bidding war in October.

Since then, both companies have raised their bids with Rio Tinto raising its bid on 17 November to $654 million or $4.70 a share, (See: Bidding war for uranium miner Hathor intensifies after Rio Tinto raises offer) which finally was beyond he reach for Cameco.