Gold Tops $1,300 But Bullabulling Gold Ltd Slips As Takeover Battle Continues

Gold has made steady gains over the last week, and has climbed 1.3% since last Thursday, to its current level of $1,307 per ounce.

The main routes by which traders and investors gain exposure to gold are exchange-traded gold funds such as the $33bn SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD.US) ETF, which was up 1.0% in pre-market trading this morning, taking the fund’s stock up by 1.4% to goldbarancoins$125.88 over the last week. SPDR shares are up by 5.6% so far in 2014, while those of a London-listed alternative, Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS), have gained 0.4% since Thursday, and are up by 8.5% so far this year.

Bullabulling battles hostile takeover

One of the biggest stories in the small cap mining sector is the attempted takeover of Australian explorer Bullabulling Gold Ltd (LSE: BGL) by Australian mid-cap miner Norton Gold Fields Limited.

Norton recently launched a 3.9p per share bid for Bullabulling, pushing the explorer’s share price up to a peak of 4.6p in expectation that a follow-up bid might be on the cards. However, Bullabulling’s management has been vocal in its opposition to the offer, and today published a formal response to Norton’s bid, as part of the Australian takeover process.

Bullabulling’s response said that Norton’s offer was ‘inadequate’ and ‘opportunistic’, and noted that an independent expert had valued Norton’s shares at between 6.2p and 9.0p per share. Bullabulling’s main asset is the Bullabulling Gold Project, which contains independently assessed mineral resources of 3.75 million ounces of gold. However, the company admitted that it is short of cash and will need additional funding in order to complete the project’s definitive feasibility study, which is required before the firm can provide any indication of the prospect’s commercial potential.

Bullabulling’s management claims that 41% of the company’s shareholders have already indicated they do not intend to accept Norton’s offer, but the firm’s share price fell below Norton’s offer price to 3.8p in UK trading today, suggesting that at least some of Bullabulling’s investors may be considering the merits of a guaranteed cash offer, instead of a fundraising that is likely to dilute the value of their shares, and will have an uncertain outcome.

Investing in small-cap explorers can lead to fantastic riches -- but is often a fast way to lose money. If you're interested in a growth stock with more reliable upside potential, I'd strongly suggest you take a look at the firm highlighted in "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Stock For 2014".

The Fool's experts believe that this high-tech firm is poised to deliver a big upturn in profitability this year. This report is completely free and without obligation -- to receive your copy immediately, simply click here now.

Roland does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.