BY Richard Summerfield
Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s largest gold mining company, has agreed to acquire Randgold Resources for $6.5bn in an all-share deal, securing the biggest deal in the gold mining space for over three years.
The two companies expect the deal to close by the first quarter of 2019, pending customary closing conditions and shareholder approval. Once completed, Barrick, which will be listed in both New York and Toronto, will own five of the world’s 10 lowest-cost gold mines. The majority of the company’s focus will be on Africa and the Americas.
Barrick’s shareholders will own about two-thirds of the new business and Randgold investors the rest. Under the terms of the deal, each Randgold shareholder will receive 6.1280 new Barrick shares for each share of the Randgold, the companies said.
In a statement announcing the deal, John L. Thornton, executive chairman of Barrick, said: “The combination of Barrick and Randgold will create a new champion for value creation in the gold mining industry, bringing together the world’s largest collection of Tier One Gold Assets, with a proven management team that has consistently delivered among the best shareholder returns in the gold sector over the past decade. Our overriding measure of success will be the returns we generate and not the number of ounces we produce, balancing boldness and prudence to deliver consistent and growing returns to our fellow owners, a truly simple but radical and achievable concept. There are no premiums in the merger because we strongly believe in the opportunity to add significant value for our shareholders from the disciplined management of our combined asset base and a focus on truly profitable growth.”
“Our industry has been criticised for its short-term focus, undisciplined growth and poor returns on invested capital,” said Mark Bristow, chief executive of Randgold. “The merged company will be very different. Its goal will be to deliver sector leading returns, and in order to achieve this, we will need to take a very critical view of our asset base and how we run our business, and be prepared to make tough decisions. By employing a strategy similar to the one that proved very successful at Randgold, but on a larger scale, the New Barrick Group will leverage some of the world’s best mines and talent to create real value for all stakeholders.”
2018 has been a challenging year for the industry. The price of gold has fallen more than 8 percent and the shares of both Barrick and Randgold have declined more than 30 percent. The companies hope that the merger will enable them to cut costs and drive profitability.