Yellowknife, Northwest Territories--Canadian diamond mining company Dominion Diamond Corp. said it is exploring the possibility of a sale.

In a company statement, Dominion said its board of directors has formed a special committee to “explore, review, and evaluate a range of potential strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value.”

Working together with the company’s management team and advisors, it will consider alternatives for Dominion that could include the sale of the company or “other strategic transactions.”

The members of the committee are Trudy Curran, Jim Gowans, David Smith and Josef Vejvoda.

Dominion said the board has not set a timetable for this process or made any decisions yet in terms of the “strategic alternatives,” noting that there’s no assurance of a sale or change in strategy.

TD Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor to Dominion, Stikeman Elliott LLP is acting as legal advisor and Kingsdale Advisors is acting as strategic advisor. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal advisor to the committee and the board of directors.

The announcement from the company doesn’t come as a surprise, as there have already been some reports this year about offers being made and talks being had.

Last month, billionaire Dennis Washington’s company, Washington Corporations, publicly made a $1.1 billion offer to acquire the company, an expression of interest which was unsolicited, Dominion said in a statement.

Dominion’s board considered the expression of interest, including with the benefit of legal and financial advice, but noted in a press release that “WashCorps does not have experience in the highly specialized diamond mining and marketing industry. WashCorps also advised that they did not have any unique plans for the business.” It also said the company had undervalued Dominion in its offer.


And just last week, Reuters reported that Dominion and Canadian diamond miner Stornaway were in talks about a potential merger.

In Dominion’s company statement, Chairman James Gowans said, “While the board of directors remains confident in the company’s long-term strategic plan and the opportunity it provides to enhance value for all shareholders, we are open to exploring all strategic alternatives that are in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders. The Board is committed to maximizing shareholder value through a fair and open process and we look forward to engaging constructively with all parties.”

Last month, CEO Brendan Bell announced he would be stepping down on June 30 this year to avoid Dominion's headquarter move from Calgary to the Northwest Territories. Bell said he could not make the move for familial reasons.


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