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Yamana, Meridian Gold Approve $3.6 Billion Merger

Yamana Gold said Monday it has boosted its offer for Meridian Gold and Meridian's board has approved the bid, ending an extended and often hostile takeover battle.

Yamana boosted the cash component of the offer by 50 Canadian cents to C$7.00 per share. The share component of the offer remains unchanged at 2.235 Yamana common shares for each Meridian share tendered.

Yamana will extend the offer to midnight Oct. 12.

Based on the closing prices of Yamana and Meridian shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on June 27 -- the date of Yamana's original proposal to Meridian -- Yamana's revised offer represents a spot premium of about 38%.

Yamana's shares closed at C$12.55 on the TSX on Friday. Meridian closed at C$34.16.

The deal is one part of a three-way tie-up that Yamana is pursuing to create a mining company with gold production of 1 million ounces this year.

Meridian, whose crown jewel is the El Penon gold and silver mine in northern Chile, has been fighting hard against what it calls an inadequate offer, placing prominent newspaper advertisements urging shareholders to reject the Yamana bid.