Aside from offering more on face value, Mr Quartermaine said the all-cash nature of Perseus’ bid offered more certainty to OreCorp shareholders than the scrip offered by Silvercorp.
“Clearly a cash offer is superior,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
“It is a very stark choice, do they want to take cash in hand and have certainty or do they want to roll the dice on a company that is less well known in this market and doesn’t have the credentials that we have for developing projects in Africa.”
The OreCorp board described Perseus’ bid as “conditional” and said it was not superior to the Silvercorp bid.
It looms as the second time in less than a year that directors of an ASX-listed gold stock at the centre of a bidding war have stated a preference for what appears to be a lower priced offer.
St Barbara directors eschewed Silver Lake’s bid for the Gwalia mine in favour of sticking with what they believed was a more reliable bid from Genesis Minerals.
The offer values OreCorp at just over $258 million.
“We are not being disrespectful of the OreCorp board at all, but I think this is a discussion that needs to take place with the shareholders because they are the ones who will make the decision at the end of the day,” said Mr Quartermaine.
Perseus has been scouting for acquisitions for close to six months after the outbreak of violence in Sudan forced it to put its Meyas Sand growth project on the backburner.
The miner had more than $800 million of cash and bullion to splurge as it went shopping last year.
Perseus already produces gold in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and believes a move into Tanzanian gold production will help diversify its footprint and reduce the sovereign risk that comes with working in Africa.
Nyanzaga will cost $US474 million ($720 million) to build but was estimated to pay for itself in less than four years.
Gold was fetching $US2020 an ounce on Monday.