June 20 (Reuters) - China’s Fosun International has increased its offer for Fabergé owner Gemfields to 256 million pounds ($324 million), turning up the heat in a bid battle with the largest shareholder of the London-listed company.
Fosun Gold, part of the acquisitive Fosun International conglomerate, said on Tuesday it had increased its offer for Gemfields to 45 pence per share from an earlier proposal of 40.85 pence per share.
That trumps a rival offer of 38.5 pence per share from mining group Pallinghurst Resources Ltd to buy the 52.91 percent of Gemfields it does not already own.
Gemfields, which mines for emeralds and amethysts in Zambia and for crimson and pinkish-red coloured ruby and corundum in Mozambique, had rejected the offer from Pallinghurst, saying it “significantly undervalues” the company
Pallinghurst has said it intends to delist Gemfields from London’s junior market.
Gemfields said on Tuesday its independent committee considered the terms of Fosun’s offer were neither fair nor reasonable, but that in the light of Pallinghurst’s offer it intended to recommend shareholders to accept Fosun’s bid.
Pallinghurst said on Monday it had valid acceptances for its bid from shareholders owning 61.25 percent of Gemfield’s shares, including its own stake.
$1 = 0.7890 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter