Osisko says Goldcorp bid getting in the way of dividend plan, urges rejection

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MONTREAL – The chief executive of Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK) warned Wednesday that an ongoing battle with Goldcorp over an unsolicited takeover bid is getting in the way of its dividend repayment plan.

The company has been clear on its opposition to the hostile bid, but Osisko CEO Sean Roosen now says the bid is preventing the Montreal-based miner’s shareholders from getting a dividend.

“My theme for 2014, until I was rudely interrupted, was … the payback of shareholders, which we would like to get back to,” he said during a conference call to discuss the company’s fourth quarter earnings.

If it wasn’t for the bid from Goldcorp, he said, Osisko would have been able to pay “a very good dividend” in 2014.

“Of course, now some of that is being spent on lawyers and bankers.”

Osisko launched a legal challenge against Goldcorp after the hostile bid, accusing it of breaking a confidentiality agreement and failing to honour a standstill agreement. A hearing on the case has been scheduled for March 3.

Roosen again urged shareholders to reject the Goldcorp deal Wednesday, saying there was no real premium in it for them.

Under terms of the Goldcorp bid, Osisko shareholders would receive 0.146 of a Goldcorp share and $2.26 in cash per Osisko share.

However, Osisko shares have traded well above the implied value of the Goldcorp offer since the bid was first announced.

The deal is now worth more than when Goldcorp first made the offer, given that it includes Goldcorp shares, which have now risen to $30.01 from the $25.29 they closed at when the deal was announced.

Osisko shares were down eight cents at $6.94 on the Toronto Stock Exchange at mid-day Wednesday.

Osisko’s main asset is the Canadian Malartic gold mine in northern Quebec where it has been ramping up operations since its first commercial production in May 2011.

“Shareholders need to reflect on what the own now before they make any decisions, and we would encourage you not to tender your shares at this low, low value,” he said.

“If you let Canadian Malartic continue to produce you will enjoy significant amount of cashflow, which will be returned to investors. If this asset were to go to Goldcorp, it would be dilutive to you because they said it would be accretive on all measures to them.”

His comments came a day after the company posted a profit of $10.5 million or two cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with a profit of $12.9 million or three cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue totalled $185.8 million, down from $191.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Goldcorp has stood by its deal, saying after markets closed Tuesday that it was extending the offer until 5 p.m. on March 10, but the terms remained the same.

Analysts have said Goldcorp, which was once one of the largest shareholders in Osisko, will have to raise its bid if it expects to be successful, suggesting a range of $6.50 to $7 per share.

A spokesperson for Goldcorp declined to comment on the bid Wednesday.

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