Shareholders vote to back rights plan at Augusta Resource in face of HudBay bid

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TORONTO – Augusta Resource Corp. (TSX:AZC), which is the target of a hostile takeover attempt by HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM), said Friday that the company’s shareholders have voted to support its shareholder rights plan.

The company said shareholders voted 94 per cent in favour of the rights plan, excluding the votes cast by HudBay.

The management slate of nominees was also elected to the board of directors at the company’s annual meeting.

HudBay, which owns about a 16 per cent stake in Augusta, has offered 0.315 of a HudBay share for each Augusta share, valuing the company at about $443 million or $3.05 per share.

Augusta adopted a shareholder rights plan last year following HudBay’s acquisition of a large stake in the company.

Shareholder rights plans — sometimes called poison pill defences — make an acquisition by a hostile bidder prohibitively expensive by increasing the number of shares a company has by allowing shareholders to purchase additional shares at a substantial discount to the market price.

HudBay has asked the B.C. Securities Commission to block the shareholder rights plan before its takeover offer expires May 5.

Augusta has said that nine potential buyers had signed confidentiality agreements and were reviewing its books.

The company holds the Rosemont copper-molybdenum project near Tucson, Ariz.

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