To be fair... Most small investors (me included obviously) are not professional analysts and therefore can not really value the assets.
Some see the company needs money, they know this is not a good time to need money, so its "Get me out of here" as the sp falls more people are drawn into the negative loop.
I figure breagh is worth $2/share once cash flow starts.
For a small company $100M+/year is serious money.
Vitol was already a significant share holder before the "hostile" offer.
While watching the value of their investment plummet as people, driven by fear, drove the SP down way below fair value maybe they decided they would put out there the fact that they would take all the shares for $0.85.
This puts a floor under the sp and keeps the weak hands from panicing and driving the price down to nothing while events unfold.
I do not think Vitol expects to get the company for a steal.
It is more likely that Sterling sells an asset, gets through to first gas, and continues on its way.
However if there is some blackswan event and Sterling can not get the last money they need to get through to first gas there is the $0.85/share offer.
It is a no loose for Vitol.
Sterling gets through to first gas.... their investment goes up.
Sterling does not get through... they get the assets for a steal.
And... isn't the same true for Sprott.
If I understand correctly Sprott did not sell their shares to Vitol yet, they simply said they would if it should come to that.
I suppose I would do the same...
If they called me and said "If Sterling can not raise the last bit of money and becomes insolvent will you take $0.85/share?"
I would say yes.
I propose that we could look at the "hostile" offer as two of the large share holders saying...
"Common guys calm down, if it comes down to it we will take your shares for $0.85".
The selling was getting over done as evidenced by the fact that even with an $0.85 offer some people are still selling below it.