Newmont to buy Goldcorp in RM41b gold-mining deal

The deal will create a miner that exceeds Barrick-Randgold in scale, producing about 7.9m ounces of gold a year

LONDON • Newmont Mining Corp will buy rival Goldcorp Inc in a deal valued at US$10 billion (RM41.02 billion), creating the world’s largest gold miner and cementing a return of merger and acquisition to the industry.

The transaction comes just three months after Barrick Gold Corp’s move to buy Randgold Resources Ltd in a US$5.4 billion transaction, which instantly spurred speculation that rivals would have to respond.

The two huge gold deals have the potential to spark investor interest after the industry lost favour following years of lacklustre bullion prices, bad investments and disastrous deals.

Just two weeks ago, Mark Bristow, the new CEO of Barrick, said the industry is heading for irrelevance unless there are major changes.

Newmont and Goldcorp were “clearly not willing to sit back and let Barrick take the limelight”, said Kieron Hodgson, a natural resources analyst at Panmure Gordon in London.

Newmont will pay 0.328 of its own shares for each Goldcorp share, a premium of 17% to the weighted average share price from the last 20 days. Newmont also plans to pay two cents for each Goldcorp share.

The deal will create a miner that exceeds Barrick-Randgold in scale, producing about 7.9 million ounces of gold a year.

And at about US$10 billion, the transaction will rival Barrick’s purchase of Placer Dome Inc as the gold-industry’s biggest takeover. That deal had a final value of about US$9.9 billion when it closed in 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

NewmontGoldcorp said they will sell up to US$1.5 billion in assets over the next two years, echoing a similar Barrick pledge to concentrate on the best-performing mines. Newmont also promised initial cost savings from the merger of US$100 million a year.

The promise of unloading assets, something Barrick is also expected to do, will have repercussions for the industry as a host of mines are likely to be put up for sale. Additionally, the two big deals will add pressure to other gold miners such as Kinross Gold Corp and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, which have missed out on the sudden deal rush.

“I can see a new wave of mid-tier producers being spawned from assets deemed sub-economic by the two ‘giants’,” said Hodgson.

Goldberg, who has lead Newmont since 2013, will remain CEO until the deal and integration of the two companies is complete — likely in the fourth quarter — after which he will hand over to COO Tom Palmer. — Bloomberg