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Newmont ends merger talks with Barrick
April 28, 2014

Talks of a merger between the two largest gold mining companies in the world ended when Newmont Mining Corp. pulled out of the discussions with rival Barrick Gold Crop. On April 28.

The companies had several discussions about a merger that the two sides felt could save as much as $1 billion by taking advantage of an increased scale and reducing overlap primarily in Nevada, The Wall Street Journal reported on April 21. However, those talks stalled over a spin off of various assets.

Talks seemingly ended for good on April 28 when Barrick announced Newmont’s intentions to walk away.

“Although Barrick believes the interests of shareholders are best served through the completion of this business combination, Newmont’s board has determined that the interests of Newmont’s shareholders are best served by remaining independent,” Toronto-based Barrick said in a statement.

Barrick was to offer Newmont shareholders a takeover premium of 13 percent, Bloomberg reported.

The fall out from the break-up saw both sides pointing fingers.

In a letter to Barrick, Newmont Mining Corp. Chairman Vincent Calarco seemed to put the blame on Barrick. It said that while the two companies “have been working hard” on merger discussions, “it has become evident to us over the past several weeks that the type of constructive, mutually respectful and partnership-oriented relationship necessary to realize the potential benefits of that combination does not yet exist.”

Barrick said that after signing the term sheet, Newmont sought to back out of agreements to locate the merged company’s head office in Toronto, define the assets to be included in a spinoff company, and to outline the roles of the chairman, chief executive officer and lead director.

Most of the efficiencies seen in a Barrick-Newmont deal would come from the combination of their operations in Nevada, where they produce more than a third of their gold.

Newmont produced 1.77 million ounces of gold in Nevada last year, the company said in a Jan. 31 presentation, 35 percent of the total company gold output of 5.07 million ounces. Barrick’s Nevada production was about 2.79 million ounces, based on company disclosures, 39 percent of last year’s total.

Barrick and Newmont already are equal partners in the Kalgoorlie mine in Australia, and jointly own the Turquoise Ridge mine in Nevada, with Barrick controlling 75 percent.