Barrick bets on Africa with $6-billion Randgold merger – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 25, 2018)

But Randgold the company faces a wave of potential disruptions

In a move that would allow Barrick Gold Corp. to regain its crown as the world’s largest gold producer and tie the company’s future more closely to Africa, the Toronto-based miner on Monday announced a US$6 billion plan to purchase Randgold Resources Ltd.

If the all-share, no-premium deal closes as expected in 2019, Barrick shareholders would control two-thirds of the company while Randgold would control the rest.

In a conference call on Monday afternoon, John Thornton, executive chairman of Barrick Gold Corp. said Randgold has a track record of success in the “most challenging environments in the world,” namely Africa, where Barrick’s subsidiary Acacia Mining Inc. has been struggling through a years-long tax dispute with the Tanzanian government.

Thornton noted Barrick has spent several years developing partnerships with Chinese mining companies, which he believes creates additional insurance against political risk.

“In a world of declining gold reserves, the combination of these two strengths is a competitive advantage,” Thornton said during the call.

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