Pan American Silver Buys Minefinders for $1.5B

It’s the “Year of Rocks” part II. This week, Pan American Silver announced its agreement to purchase Minefinders for around $1.5 billion in a friendly takeover deal, which is expected to close by the end of March. By buying Minefinders, the company will add the multi-million ounce Dolores mine in Mexico to its assets and advance its vision of becoming the world’s largest low-cost primary producer of silver.

According to Fred Pletcher of Borden Ladner Gervais, who led the team acting for Pan American, the acquisition is a significant departure for the company and speaks to the increasing scarcity of primary silver deposits. “I’m sure it brought a tear to Ross Beaty‘s eye,” he said. “Pan American has always been a value investor, making acquisitions of shuttered or distressed mines or projects in politically challenging jurisdictions at a substantial discount and then reviving or advancing those projects with its strong construction and operating team.”  [See “Pan American Silver Acquires Aquiline Resources for $626M” and “Pan American Silver Acquires Corner Bay Silver.” – ed.] And although there remains the potential for value creation through the addition of a mill at Dolores and in Minefinders’ exploration properties, this is a pretty fully priced deal.”

Pan American Silver was represented by Borden Ladner Gervais LLP  with a team comprising Fred Pletcher, Kent Kufeldt, Graeme Martindale, Michael Waters, Samir Patel (Securities and Capital Markets), Richard Bennett (Tax), Jeffrey Thomas (Competition), Martha Martindale (Banking and Financial Institutions), David Di Paolo and Kara Beitel (Litigation). Pan American Silver was also represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP with a team led by Toronto-based corporate finance and securities law partner Riccardo Leofanti. 

Minefinders was represented by Stikeman Elliott LLP with a team comprising John Stark, John Anderson, Jennifer Honeyman and Shona Sinclair (M&A/Corporate – Vancouver), Donald Belovich (Corporate), Dean Kraus, Jonathan Willson and John O’Connor (Tax), Shawn Neylan (Competition), and Eliot Kolers (Litigation – Toronto). Minefinders was also represented by Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

– Gena Smith

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