Azure to defend Panoramic after bake-off

The Australian Financial Review, Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Tim Boyd, Wednesday 6 November 2019. Copyright 2019. Fairfax Media Management Pty Limited.

Boutique Perth advisory Azure Capital will defend Panoramic Resources as it deals with a hostile approach from Independence Group.

Street Talk understands Azure won a bake-off which pitted the firm up against a handful of bigger rivals including Goldman Sachs.

Gilbert + Tobin is doing Panoramic's legal work.

The mandates come after Independence lobbed an all scrip bid for Panoramic on Monday which valued the nickel miner at $312 million.

The much bigger Independence, which has a $3.8 billion market cap, timed its bid to coincide with a Panoramic board restructure. Incoming chairman Peter Sullivan represents Panoramic's largest shareholder Zeta Resources, which owns 35 per cent of the company.

Independence is offering one share for every 13 Panoramic shares, valuing the latter at 47.6¢ a share based on the volume weighted average share price of Independence over the previous month.

Panoramic's shares are up 35.4 per cent this week to 44¢.

Citi and Herbert Smith Freehills are advising Independence.

The offer comes as Panoramic is trying to increase production at its Savannah mine in WA and also has a substantial exploration portfolio in the Kimberley region.

The bid was pitched as a diversification play to Panoramic shareholders, who would go from a single asset miner to being part of a $3.8 billion player with a strong financial position.

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