Canada’s Barrick Gold is swallowing African operator Randgold Resources in a takeover worth roughly US$6-billion that will ensure its status as the world’s biggest gold company, and bring in a chief executive officer for the first time since 2014.
The all-share, no premium deal, which will value the combined company at US$18.3-billion, seems designed to overcome Barrick’s problems in Africa, where it controls mines through its 64-per-cent ownership of Acacia (formerly African Barrick), and perceived weakness among its senior management ranks. Barrick has no CEO and lost its president, Kelvin Dushnisky, last month.
The deal marks the first big expansion move by Barrick executive chairman John Thornton after four years of shrinking the company through mine sales, mine closures and the recruitment of Chinese partners at some of its operations.
In a release, Mr. Thornton said that the merger comes with no premiums 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.”
Mark Bristow, the well-regarded CEO of Randgold is to become the CEO of the enlarged company, which will retain the Barrick name. Mr. Thornton, a former president of Goldman Sachs, will remain as executive chairman. Graham Shuttleworth, Randgold’s current chief financial officer, takes the CFO role at the combined company with Barrick’s current CFO Catherine Raw becoming chief operating officer North America.