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St Barbara (ASX:SBM) to choose between proposals

Decision day today for shareholders in St Barbara (ASX:SBM), with a special meeting to vote on whether to go with old beau Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD) or encourage late comer Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR).

Given the lack of any urging from Silver Lake in the past couple of weeks, the Genesis deal looks likely to get the nod.

Proxies closed on Sunday for the meeting and their vote should be known before the meeting, timed for 1pm EST.

Genesis Minerals wants to buy St Barbara’s Leonora gold mining assets in the Leonora area of WA’s eastern goldfields and has done so since putting up a first offer last December.

Genesis has offered more than $620m in cash and shares, including the payment early of a special $25m deposit to be paid to St Barbara, if the deal is approved at the meeting.

Rival gold miner Silver Lake Resources has tried to muscle in to the deal and overbid Genesis. Silver Lake says the implied value of its proposal is $718m, comprising $370m in cash and 327.1 million Silver Lake shares valued at $348m (at May 31).

The shares are now worth $340m, so the deal has a putative value of around $710m.

The core of the Genesis offer (which was recast after St Barbara’s financial position worsened earlier this year) is $400m in cash. Silver Lake is offering around $370m.

Silver Lake has been trying to get St Barbara shareholders to oppose the deal, but St Barbara claims 49 per cent of its shareholder base supported the Genesis deal a month ago.