US-focused Uranium Energy (UEC) has signed a deal to acquire Canadian uranium exploration and development company UEX, which is said to result in the formation of a diversified North America-focused uranium major.

The deal helps Uranium Energy foray into the prospective uranium districts of Saskatchewan and Nunavut in Canada.

UEX shareholders will receive 0.0831 of one UEC share for each share held, implying around C$0.43 a share.

Currently, UEX holds 29 uranium projects that cover key areas of the producing eastern side and development western side of the prolific Athabasca basin.

UEC president and CEO Amir Adnani said that the deal has the same characteristics as the December 2021 acquisition of Uranium One America (U1A), which at the time marked the biggest merger-and-acquisition (M&A) transaction in the uranium sector in about a decade.

Adnani commented: “This transaction underscores UEC’s sector-leading strategy as the fastest-growing, pure-play, 100% unhedged uranium company with assets only in the Western hemisphere.

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“As with the U1A acquisition, the purchase price is equal to only 13.7% of the pro forma market capitalisation, yet the acquisition is expected to more than double the size of our attributable measured and indicated uranium resources.”

Upon completion of the deal, current UEC and UEX shareholders will hold around 86.3% and 13.7%, respectively, of UEC.

The deal is expected to double UEC’s uranium resources in politically stable, uranium mining jurisdictions.

UEX president and CEO Roger Lemaitre said: “The combination of UEC and UEX brings together two very strong and complementary portfolios and, in addition to a significant premium, provides our shareholders with the opportunity to participate in the continued growth of UEC.

“UEX shareholders will gain substantial exposure to production-ready low-cost US ISR (in situ recovery) mining assets, a substantial physical uranium portfolio, a strong balance sheet and access to capital.”

The deal awaits stock exchange and court approvals, with completion anticipated in the third quarter of 2022.