Gold All That Glitters for Mining’s M&A Bankers Amid Turmoil – by Jesse Riseborough and Kevin Crowley (Bloomberg News – February 10, 2016)

Mining industry bankers still smarting from the worst year for acquisitions in more than a decade can take consolation from the prospect of a once-in-a-generation opportunity for deals among gold producers in 2016.

“The scale of this opportunity doesn’t come around very often, maybe every 15, 20 years,” Sibanye Gold Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman said in an interview in Cape Town. He’s seeking deals to turn the biggest miner of South African gold into one of the top five global producers of the metal.

“For a few years there has been no visible external action but I think we’re right on the cusp now,” Froneman said. “We’ll see an increase in M&A activities, especially with companies having liquidity issues.”

The odds of more gold deals are being boosted by unusual industry conditions, as rising prices for the metal on demand for a haven from market turmoil combine with the need of diversified miners to sell assets to pay down debt.

Gold’s 14 percent jump in 2016 is already spurring transactions. Tahoe Resources Inc. this week agreed to acquire Toronto-based miner Lake Shore Gold Inc. in a C$945 million ($680 million) all-share deal.

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