June 14, 2017 / 8:07 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-China's Fosun joins bid battle for Faberge owner Gemfields

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June 14 (Reuters) - China's Fosun International Ltd joined the race for Fabergé owner Gemfields Plc with an approach that valued the London-listed company at 225 million pounds ($288 million).

Gemfields, which mines for emeralds and amethysts in Zambia and for crimson and pinkish-red coloured ruby and corundum in Mozambique has already received a buyout offer from leading shareholder Pallinghurst Resources Ltd.

"Gemfields represents a compelling opportunity to continue to develop a leading gemstone producer with a dominant position in both global emerald and ruby production and a strong consumer brand," Fosun said.

Fosun Gold, part of acquisitive conglomerate Fosun International, said it had proposed buying Gemfields at a price of 40.85 pence per share, a premium of 15.1 percent to Gemfield's closing price of 35.5 pence on Tuesday.

Mining group Pallinghurst had offered 38.5 pence per share to buy the remaining 52.91 percent it does not already own.

Gemfields had said Pallinghurst's offer "significantly undervalues" the company. Its shares rose 12 percent to 40 pence on Wednesday.

Last month, Fosun announced a $887 million strategic investment into Russia's top gold producer Polyus, increasing its exposure to the global natural resources sector.

Hong Kong-listed Fosun is also said to be interested in buying oil and gas assets worth about $1.5 billion from Australia's top energy retailer Origin.

AIM-listed Gemfields said in February that India's move to scrap higher value banknotes forced the company to delay an emerald auction and would hurt its revenue and core earnings for the full-year ending June. ($1 = 0.7819 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Heavens and Keith Weir)

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