MOSCOW, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - JSC Atomredmetzoloto ("ARMZ"), the Russian state-owned uranium mining company, announced today that it has entered into option agreements by which it may acquire ownership over an aggregate of 18,963,600 outstanding common shares of Uranium One Inc. ("Uranium One"), which represent approximately 3.2% of the outstanding common shares of Uranium One. The options are not currently exercisable but ARMZ has the right to exercise them within the next 60 days, and as such, is deemed to beneficially own the outstanding common shares for certain purposes under applicable Canadian securities laws.
ARMZ has acquired the options through its subsidiary Effective Energy NV, located at Leliegracht 10, 1015 DE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. ARMZ currently has actual ownership, control and direction over 117 million Uranium One common shares. The option agreements were entered into with the expectation that the financing transaction between Uranium One and Japan Uranium Management Inc. ("JUMI"), as originally structured and disclosed by Uranium One, would have closed as originally anticipated. On January 14, 2010, Uranium One announced the closing of a convertible debenture financing with JUMI. If Kazakh regulatory approval to the issuance of the 117 million common shares underlying the debentures issued to the JUMI consortium is received before exercise of the options, the debentures will automatically convert and ARMZ's ownership of Uranium One's common shares would not exceed 19.95%; if option exercise occurs first, subject to applicable regulatory approvals (which have been received, including FIRB approval in Australia), ARMZ would acquire actual ownership of approximately 23.2% of Uranium One's outstanding common shares.
Uranium One has agreed that ARMZ may temporarily exceed the 19.95% standstill under the Framework Agreement dated June 14, 2009 between the ARMZ and Uranium One in order to settle the option agreements, if exercised. If the convertible debentures issued to JUMI remain outstanding in 12 months time, ARMZ has agreed to reduce its holdings to the 19.95% level at that time. The standstill provisions in the Framework Agreement otherwise continue to apply to ARMZ.
Effective Energy and ARMZ are joint actors in connection with the transaction.
ARMZ is the world's fifth largest uranium producer with operating mines in Russia and Kazakhstan. During 2008, operations in which ARMZ is involved produced 9.6 million pounds of U(3)O8. ARMZ is part of Rosatom - the Russian State Corporation controlling the Russian Federation's nuclear activities. Together with its affiliates and subsidiaries, the company employs over 14,000 people.
SOURCE JSC ATOMREDMETZOLOTO