(REUTERS) -- European Goldfields, which has agreed a C$2.5 billion ($2.4 billion) takeover by Canadian group Eldorado Gold, said on Monday an investment deal with Qatar's sovereign wealth fund remained in place.
European Goldfields announced the offer from Eldorado on Sunday and said its board would back the bid from a rival long seen as a potential suitor, due to the project overlap the two companies have in Greece and Turkey.
But the London and Toronto-listed gold miner left the door open on Monday for the deal with Qatar, which announced in October it would provide a $600 million, seven-year loan to European Goldfields in its first investment in the gold sector.
While European Goldfields shareholders had been due to vote this week on the Qatar financing that was seen as potentially transformational, that ballot will be postponed until shareholders vote in mid-February on the proposed takeover.
All we are doing with the Qatari financing is postponing or adjourning the vote technically, chief financial officer Tim Morgan-Wynne told reporters on a conference call. We will just push the voting on the Qatari transaction until after shareholders have been able to vote on this (Eldorado deal).
He said chairman Martyn Konig had spoken to the Qataris and everything is moving on track.
European Goldfields said it expected Greece, home to its flagship assets, to back the deal.
The key thing for the Greek government and the people of Greece is that these assets are brought into production. The scale of job creation and the spill-out benefits of getting these projects built... is huge, Morgan-Wynne said.
European Goldfields has been seen as a potential target after it won a permit to run two goldmines in northern Greece that could turn it into a mid-tier miner and one of Europe's largest primary gold producers.
Earlier this month, the company said it had received preliminary approaches from third parties.
We did have a number of approaches and I could not really speculate on whether we are going to have people streaming over the hills with hostile competing offers at this point, Morgan-Wynne said.
Numis Securities analyst Andy Davidson said he did not expect rival offers. Whilst slightly on the low side versus our target price, given the friendly nature of the bid, the immediate share premium and the synergies with Eldorado we do not expect a bidding war to break out, despite there being plenty of valuation upside remaining.
Davidson said he had a long-term target price for European Goldfields, which currently only produces a small amount of zinc and lead from its Stratoni operation in Greece, above 1,200 pence once the gold projects were in production.
The London-listed shares were changing hands at 771.5 pence at 0942 GMT, valuing the company at around 1.36 billion pounds ($2.11 billion).
Eldorado, which owns six operating mines across Asia, Europe and South America, was long viewed as a potential suitor due to the project overlap between the two companies in Greece and Turkey.