Energy Fuels Inc. and Uranerz Energy Corporation are pleased to announce the execution of a definitive agreement pursuant to which Energy Fuels will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Uranerz. Under the terms of the DA, shareholders of Uranerz will receive 0.255 common shares of Energy Fuels for each share of Uranerz common stock held.
- Creation of the only integrated conventional and in-situ recovery ("ISR") uranium mining company focused solely on the United States;
- Diversified ISR and conventional uranium production from two operating production centers, including the White Mesa uranium mill in Utah and the Nichols Ranch ISR mine and plant in Wyoming;
- A deep development pipeline of projects highlighted by conventional assets such as the Canyon Mine (Arizona), the Sheep Mountain Project (Wyoming), the Henry Mountains Project (Utah) and the Roca Honda Project (New Mexico), paired with Wyoming ISR development assets including the Jane Dough, Hank, West North Butte and Reno Creek Projects;
- A combined NI 43-101 resource base that will be the largest in the U.S. among producers and near producers;
- A strong portfolio of six uranium sales contracts extending to 2020, with approximately one million pounds of U3O8 under contract in 2015 alone;
- An ability to significantly scale-up uranium production in the coming years as uranium prices increase;
- The combined company will be an attractive platform for further accretive growth and consolidation within the U.S. uranium sector;
- Potential for significant cost savings and synergies with additional potential for other operating efficiencies;
- Combined management skill and expertise with the proven ability to successfully develop and produce uranium; and
- Based on the current share price of Energy Fuels, the combined company will be the largest publicly-traded uranium company by market capitalization operationally focused and listed in the U.S. This is expected to increase exposure to both institutional and retail investors globally, as well as increase the likelihood of the combined company (subject to market conditions) being included and/or receiving greater weightings in certain indices, such as the Russell 3000 Index, as well as certain Exchange Traded Funds such as the Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE:URA).
Stephen Antony, President & CEO of Energy Fuels commented: "It is with great enthusiasm that Energy Fuels is able to bring this transaction to our shareholders. The combination of Energy Fuels and Uranerz will create one of the few publicly-traded, integrated conventional-ISR uranium companies in the World. Energy Fuels has already established itself as a leading producer of uranium in the U.S. and the premier consolidator of U.S.-based uranium assets. By adding Uranerz to our corporate umbrella, we are creating a multi-source uranium production platform that is better positioned to respond to the dynamic and volatile nature of the uranium market. Wyoming has been an area of focus for Energy Fuels, and the Uranerz team has done an exceptional job of exploring, permitting, building and operating their Nichols Ranch project in Wyoming. I look forward to working with them to build a lasting and robust ISR mining business within Energy Fuels."
Dennis Higgs, Uranerz' Executive Chairman stated: "This transaction creates a unique uranium producer with a leading portfolio of development projects that I believe will be attractive to both the investment community and utility customers. Together, we believe we can create a stronger company from the perspective of resources, diversification of production sources, production scalability, growth, working capital and market capitalization. We have watched with interest as Energy Fuels has consolidated some of the best available hard rock uranium mining assets in recent years along with the only licensed and operating uranium mill in the U.S. We are very pleased to bring to shareholders the prospect of integrating our own production, development and exploration assets into what I believe will be a leading company within the uranium sector."
Unique Position in the United States' Nuclear Power Market
The combination of Energy Fuels and Uranerz will result in the creation of the largest integrated uranium production company focused solely on the United States. Energy Fuels, after completing the Transaction, is referred to in this release as the "Company". The United States is the largest consumer of uranium globally, with 100 nuclear reactors currently in operation and five under construction. Yet, despite being the World's largest producer of uranium as recently as the early 1980s, the U.S. is now heavily reliant on imported uranium to fuel its reactor fleet. Energy Fuels and Uranerz believe that the Company will be well-positioned, in terms of size, operational scale and diversification, as a preferred U.S. uranium supplier.
Large and Diversified Combined Operations
Energy Fuels is currently well-positioned as the 2nd largest supplier of uranium within the U.S. It currently accounts for about 20% of U.S. uranium production from its wholly-owned White Mesa uranium mill, the only licensed and operating conventional uranium mill in the U.S. Uranerz is the newest uranium producer in the U.S., located in one of the most prolific areas of uranium production in the U.S. Uranerz recently commenced production at its Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project and holds one of the largest prospective land positions for ISR-amenable deposits in Wyoming. The Company will have a combined ISR and conventional asset base, unique in its scope and scalability, extending from the ISR-amenable Powder River Basin of Wyoming (the "Basin") to the conventional uranium mining districts of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. ISR uranium production in the Basin is acknowledged as a source of relatively lower cost uranium production, and large multi-national companies such as Cameco Corporation and Uranium One Inc. are active in the Basin. The combined asset base of the Company, anchored by two distinct production centers, will be better positioned to create shareholder value in the current low uranium price environment while maintaining what Energy Fuels and Uranerz believe is substantial organic production growth potential at higher uranium prices.
Uranium Supply Contract Portfolio
The Company expects to have a total of six uranium supply contracts with terms that extend into 2020. In 2015 alone, these contracts require approximately one million pounds of uranium to be delivered at an average price of approximately US$58 per pound, a premium of approximately 63% above the current uranium spot price of US$35.50 per pound. This combined contract portfolio will position the Company to maximize revenues in the current low uranium price environment.
Based on the current common shares outstanding of both Energy Fuels and Uranerz, Energy Fuels shareholders will own approximately 45% of the shares of the Company upon completion of the Transaction, and Uranerz shareholders will own approximately 55% of the common shares of the Company. Based on the January 2, 2015 closing prices on the NYSE MKT and the 20-day volume-weighted average prices on the NYSE MKT through to January 2, 2015, the Transaction represents a 37% and 46% premium, respectively, to Uranerz shareholders.
The Transaction will be carried out by way of a merger of Uranerz with, and into, a subsidiary of Energy Fuels under Nevada law. The Transaction will be subject to the approval of at least a majority of the holders of the outstanding common shares of Uranerz, as well as at least a majority of the votes cast by Uranerz shareholders, excluding directors and officers of Uranerz, at a special meeting to be called by Uranerz to consider the Transaction. Pursuant to the rules of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Transaction is also subject to the approval of at least a majority of the votes cast by Energy Fuels shareholders at a special meeting to be called by Energy Fuels to consider the Transaction. In addition, pursuant to the DA, the completion of the Transaction is conditional upon a number of items, including, without limitation, the shareholder approvals referred to above, receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, and other customary conditions to closing.
Upon closing of the Transaction, Uranerz will nominate Dennis Higgs, Glenn Catchpole and Paul Saxton as directors to join the Board of Directors of Energy Fuels. The executive management of the Company will continue to be led by Energy Fuels' existing management team, with key Uranerz executive team members being retained to continue to manage and operate the Wyoming operations. The executive officers and the Boards of Directors of both Energy Fuels and Uranerz have agreed to enter into support agreements to, among other things, vote their shares in favor of the Transaction. The Boards of Directors of both Energy Fuels and Uranerz have each resolved to recommend that their respective shareholders vote in favor of the Transaction.
The DA contains customary deal support provisions, including a reciprocal break fee of US$5,000,000 payable if the Transaction is not completed under certain circumstances. In addition, the DA includes customary and reciprocal non-solicitation covenants, as well as a reciprocal right to match any superior proposal that may arise.
Uranerz' outstanding options and warrants will be adjusted in accordance with their terms, such that the number of Energy Fuels shares received upon exercise and the exercise price will reflect the exchange ratio described above.
The Transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2015 or such other date as the parties may agree. Special meetings of the shareholders of Uranerz and Energy Fuels to approve the Transaction will each be held at a time yet to be determined, though expected to be in the second quarter of 2015.
Upon completion of the Transaction, Uranerz' common stock will cease trading on the NYSE MKT and the TSX, and the Company common shares are expected to trade on the TSX and NYSE MKT markets.