Canadian gold miner Barrick Gold on Monday unveiled a proposed all-share merger with US-based gold major Newmont in transaction, which CEO Mark Bristow said would be “far superior” to Newmont’s proposed $10-billion acquisition of Goldcorp.
Touting the Barrick/Newmont deal as “logical and long overdue”, he said the merger would result in yearly synergies 7.5 times larger than the quoted synergies for the Newmont/Goldcorp transaction.
“The combination of Barrick and Newmont will create what is clearly the world’s best gold company, with the largest portfolio of tier-one gold assets and the highest level of free cash flow to drive future growth and support sustainable shareholder returns, run by a management team with an unparalleled record of delivering value,” Bristow said in a statement announcing the proposed transaction.
In the Barrick proposal, each Newmont shareholder would receive 2.5694 Barrick shares, which Bloomberg News calculates values Newmont at $33.50 a share, or $17.8-billion. On Friday, Newmont closed at $35.41 a share.
Barrick shareholders would own about 55.9% of the merged company and Newmont shareholders would own about 44.1%.
The merger of the two gold majors would combine their complementary assets in US state of Nevada, which Bristow said would result in better mine planning and realising the state's geological potential.
The combination of the two businesses would unlock more than $7-billion pretax net present value of synergies, a major portion of which was generated by combining the assets in Nevada.
Prior to Barrick's announcement on Monday, Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg said to Bloomberg News that a planned bid for the company was a "desperate and bizarre attempt to muddle up" its deal with Goldcorp.
Goldcorp will hold its shareholders meeting to vote in a takeover by Newmont on April 4. Should Newmont and Goldcorp close their transaction, Newmont would overtake Barrick as the world's biggest gold mining company.
Barrick's proposal to Newmont comes less than two months after Barrick completed the $18.3-billion takeover of Africa-focused Randgold Resources, which Bristow founded.
Newmont and Barrick have previously held merger talks, but a transaction never came to fruition.
In a letter to Newmont's board, Bristow and executive chairperson John Thornton said that the combination of the two companies was an "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the unrivalled leader in the gold sector".
"Given the superior and obvious benefits to shareholders and other stakeholders that a business combination between our two companies would create, we were surprised and disappointed to learn that Newmont had agreed to combine with Goldcorp – a combination that would provide minimal real synergies and dilute the quality of Newmont’s asset portfolio," the letter stated.