China makes Kalahari bid

Steve Dinneen
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Kalahari Minerals has agreed to a £662m takeover by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp, as the nation continues its acquisition spree in a bid to meet its spiralling energy needs.

AIM-listed Kalahari, which is the top shareholder in one of the world’s largest uranium projects, had been in talks with the state-owned firm before Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in March. The disaster led the Chinese group to back away from a reported 290p a share offer.

The latest offer will see investors take away 243.55p in cash for each share they hold. Kalahari owns 42.5 per cent of Extract Resources, which is working on the Husab Uranium project in Namibia.

China has snapped up a string of energy firms in recent months and the government has outlined its intention to use its foreign exchange reserves to back its companies’ march into foreign territories.

It is particularly keen to secure uranium-mining projects to fuel a planned fleet of new power stations.

Tycoon Li Ka-shing agreed to buy Northumbrian Water for £2.4bn over the summer in what had been the biggest takeover of a UK-listed company this year. It was later trumped by HP’s £6.6bn takeover of Autonomy.