Ventana Gold (VEN.TO), a Canadian gold explorer operating in Colombia, has extended its poison pill takeover defense to Feb. 15, the same day a hostile takeover bid from Brazil's Eike Batista is set to expire.
Batista's company, AUX Canada Acquisition Inc, is offering C$12.63 a share for the Ventana stock he does not already own. The offers values Ventana at C$1.5 billion ($1.5 billion).
The rights plan prevents AUX from increasing its ownership of Ventana shares through market purchases before its offer expires, the company said in a statement.
Further purchases by AUX could limit Ventana's alternatives to maximize shareholder value, it said.
Ventana said it was still looking at other options that could result in a transaction that's superior to AUX's offer.
Ventana says the offer is opportunistic at such an early stage in the development of the potentially lucrative La Bodega gold deposit in Colombia.
Batista's bid is evidence of the booming interest in Colombia's mineral riches, bolstered by growing economic political stability in a country long plagued by guerrilla and paramilitary strife.
Ventana shares closed at C$12.75 per share in Toronto on Tuesday.