Fura Gems up 27% on go-private deal

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Fura Gems Inc. [FURA-TSXV; FUGMF-OTC; BJ43-FSE] shares were active Friday August 14 after the company announced a go-private transaction led by its largest shareholder.

The company said it has entered into an agreement with majority shareholder Lord of Seven Hills Holdings FZE under which the purchaser has pledged to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Fura that it doesn’t already hold for 15 cents a share.

Lord of Seven currently holds 140 million Fura common shares, or 51.5% of the 272 million shares outstanding.

News of the deal sent Fura shares up 27.3% or $0.03 to 14 cents on volume of 2.65 million. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 23 cents and $0.05.

Fura is a member of the Forbes & Manhattan Group, a Toronto-based merchant banking group.

On August 12, 2020, Fura said it was slated to buy Australian mining company Great Northern Mining and had entered into a share sale agreement through its Australian subsidiary Capricorn Sapphire Pty worth about $2.1 million. The deal includes 73 sapphire mining leases in Central Queensland, at an area approximately 850 kilometres northwest of Brisbane.

“We believe Fura is uniquely positioned in its industry as result of its distinct portfolio of assets, which includes emerald, ruby and sapphire properties (being all three coloured gemstones),” said Michael Kuan of Lord Seven Hills Holdings FZE.

“While we recognize that the COVID-19 crisis has made market conditions particularly challenging, we intend to continue to support Fura and its team to advance it to the revenue stage,” he said.

Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was working to advance the Coscuez emerald project in Colombia and ruby assets in Mozambique. It was also aiming to acquire a 100% interest in ruby prospecting license No. 5572L in the Monepuez district of Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique.

Fura bought a majority interest in the Coscuez mine in October, 2017, thinking it could significantly ramp up production at what is regarded as one of the world’s most prolific emerald producers. Coscuez earned that reputation after being in production for over 400 years, and yielding some of the world’s finest emeralds, including the 7,000-carat Emilia Emerald Crystal, the largest ever discovered.

Fura acquired the majority interest from Emporium HS S.A.S., a private Colombia-based company with the intention of increasing production via technology and procedural upgrades. The ultimate goal is to build an emerald supply chain in Colombia.

Emporium HS S.A.S., continues to hold a 21.71% stake in the operation which produced 34,078 carats of emeralds between the fourth quarter 2012, and the second quarter of 2017.

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