M&A

Barrick Gold pulled $18 billion Newmont bid and formed a JV in Nevada

By combining their operations in the southwestern U.S. state, which is home to one of the world’s largest gold-producing areas, Barrick and Newmont hope to save more than $5 billion over the next 20 years.

TFMNews

(Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp on Monday pulled its $18 billion offer for Newmont Mining Corp and agreed to form a joint venture in Nevada with its rival, ending a hostile takeover bid that sought to unite the world’s two largest gold producers.

By combining their operations in the southwestern U.S. state, which is home to one of the world’s largest gold-producing areas, Barrick and Newmont hope to save more than $5 billion over the next 20 years.

Toronto-based Barrick will control 61.5 percent of the venture, giving it slightly less oversight than it initially wanted even as it gains full operational control over mines that produce more than 4 million ounces of gold annually.

The agreement comes amid a pickup in deals across the gold industry, which has struggled with a loss of investor confidence and financing constraints in recent years.

“This is one of those rare transactions that really does create demonstrable value for everyone involved,” Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow told Reuters on Monday. “It shows that people, if you put your mind to it, can deliver transactions in a very short while.”

Shares of Barrick were up about 0.9 percent at $13.05 on the New York Stock Exchange and up 1.1 percent at C$17.53 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in early afternoon trading. Newmont shares were down 2.3 percent to $32.92 in New York.

Colorado-based Newmont rejected Barrick’s all-stock zero-premium hostile takeover, which was launched last month, and proposed instead the Nevada joint venture, which both companies have tried to form for years.

The deal seems to wash away, for now, vestiges of a long-simmering feud between the companies. Bristow, on the same day Barrick launched its bid, called Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg a “loser” in a Reuters interview.

Goldberg, for his part, had told Reuters that Bristow’s “credibility and experience” and performance at Randgold, which Bristow had led until two months ago when it was acquired by Barrick, was “anemic.”

Yet both men flew to Nevada on Monday to announce the deal, a step designed to underscore collaboration. Even the companies’ social media accounts played nice: Barrick’s Twitter profile “liked” Newmont’s announcement of the Nevada JV.

As part of Monday’s agreement, Barrick will also withdraw several shareholder proposals for Newmont’s annual meeting later this year.

“Through this joint venture, the whole is going to be worth a lot more than the sum of its parts,” said Newmont Chief Operating Officer Tom Palmer, who will take over as CEO when Goldberg retires at the end of 2019.

Newmont and Barrick share many investors, and some had been unenthusiastic about the hostile takeover bid.

Source: Reuters

– TFM News

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