De Beers Acquires Winspear

August 30, 2000

De Beers Acquires Winspear

Winspear Diamonds Inc. shareholders endorsed De Beers' offer and tendered 91% of Winspear shares to De Beers. De Beers extended its $5 Canadian offer to Sept. 8 so the remaining shareholders can tender their shares.

"We're extremely pleased with the positive response of Winspear shareholders to our offer, and we look forward to building on the good work that's been done by Winspear at Snap Lake," says Richard Molyneux, president and CEO of De Beers Canada. "We will now move forward to complete the acquisition and to take the Snap Lake project to the next stage in its development." De Beers plans to acquire the remaining Winspear shares from the shareholders or under the compulsory acquisition provisions of the British Columbia Company Act. Once all shares are transferred to De Beers, the company says it will delist Winspear from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In related news, De Beers is considering increasing its bid on Ashton Mining Ltd. after Rio Tinto PLC topped De Beers' current bid of $1.62 Australian per share for the mining company. Malaysia Mining Corp., which owns a 49.9% stake in Ashton, said Tuesday it will sell 19.9% of its stake to Rio Tinto for A$1.90 per share. Malaysia Mining previously agreed to sell 19.9% to De Beers as well and says it wants to sell the remaining 10.1%. De Beers and Rio Tinto want Ashton's 40.1% stake in the Argyle mine, the world's largest diamond mine by production. Rio Tinto holds the remaining stake in Argyle.

- by Julia M. Duncan