A GROUP of activist shareholders in miner Gemfields Resources are staging a revolt, claiming the firm’s management is pushing to secure a takeover bid from rival Rox Conduit which substantially undervalues the company.<br /><br />The dissident group believes Gemfields is trying to secure a rapid sale to Rox Conduit, which owns a 63.9 per cent stake through one of its subsidiaries, at a knock-down price. Gemfields said earlier this month it was in talks regarding a possible 8p-a-share bid from Rox Conduit.<br /><br />Stockbroker Midas Investment Management is leading around 15 per cent of the shareholders in the protest. The group claims there is a case of “split loyalties” on the Gemfields board, as director Sean Gilbertson’s father Brian is the chairman of Pallinghurst Resources, the firm which controls Rox.<br /><br />A Gemfields spokesman said: “Under the takeover code Gemfields is not in a position to comment. However, the firm is of course run in the interests of all shareholders.” <br /><br />Gemfields said in March it would write down the value of its Kagem emerald mine in Namibia to zero.<br /><br />“The ongoing uncertainty in the global economy, the loss-making performance during the period and the lack of reliable emerald prices make it difficult to justify forecasts showing a positive cashflow with reasonable certainty,” it said at the time. “This in turn complicates valuing the mine.”<br /><br />But the rebel shareholders say that writing down the value of the mine was unnecessary and believe a fair valuation of the company would be around 30p per share, based on the substantial reserves Gemfields has in the ground.