Pallinghurst Successful in Acquisition of Gemfields

SourcingJul 20, 2017

Pallinghurst Successful in Acquisition of Gemfields

The company intends to take the colored gemstone miner private.

Pallinghurst will take Gemfields private, putting the focus on the company’s core gemstone mining projects as it also looks to develop the portfolio. Pictured here is the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia.

London--Two months after it first made its unsolicited takeover offer, Gemfields’ biggest investor is set to acquire the colored gemstone miner.

As of Tuesday, Pallinghurst had received acceptances representing more than 90 percent of Gemfields shares, allowing it to begin the last steps needed to acquire the company.

Under the terms of the deal, Gemfields shareholders will be entitled to receive 1.91 Pallinghurst shares for each Gemfields share that they own.

Pallinghurst’s journey to become the owner of Gemfields began in late May, when the gemstone miner’s biggest investor made an unsolicited offer to buy out the remaining shares it didn’t already own.

Just a few weeks later, Shanghai-based investment company Fosun Gold made a play for the miner but that offer lapsed fairly quickly, concurrent with Pallinghurst’s offer becoming wholly unconditional on June 26.

Now, Pallinghurst plans on taking the company private.

On June 30, Gemfields announced that it had applied to be delisted from AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s market for smaller companies; it expects the cancellation to take effect as of July 28.

Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen said the takeover will “allow for the Pallinghurst team to take full operational control, revitalize the company and unlock the synergies. This will in turn strengthen and improve Gemfields’ operational and financial position.”

When it first made the offer, Pallinghurst said it would not only focus on the company’s core emerald and ruby operations in Zambia and Mozambique but also accelerate the “development of its existing portfolio of projects” to mitigate its dependency on its assets, as well as explore alternatives for Fabergé--goals it has reiterated now that it’s in line to take over the company.

Gemfields declined to comment for this story. 

Amid some restructuring at the top for Pallinghurst, including the appointment of a chief investment officer and a chief operating officer, the company said its executive management will lead operations in London, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique, with dedicated teams in the field.

When asked whether this meant possible changes for Gemfields management, a Pallinghurst spokesperson said: “Changes to the Gemfields strategy and management will be determined by Pallinghurst following the close of the transaction in consultation with shareholders and other stakeholders.”

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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