Barrick Gold Corp.’s new chief executive officer has a message for the gold industry: This is just the start of a big shake-up.
Barrick agreed to buy smaller rival Randgold Resources Ltd. in a $5.4 billion deal announced in September. As part of the agreement, Randgold’s CEO, Mark Bristow, became the chief executive of Barrick, the world’s biggest gold miner.
“Without a doubt, this industry needs transformation,” Bristow said in an interview from New York, where the combined company started trading Wednesday. “We believe we have started that. We’re going to end up with a blue-chip business and on the way we’re not going to be sitting on our hands should there be other opportunities.”
By combining the two companies, Barrick says it will run five of the 10 best gold mines in the world, with operations from Nevada to South America and Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The deal happened at a time when gold mining has fallen out of favor with many investors after a year of lackluster bullion prices and a recent history of costly takeovers and mine developments that racked up debt but didn’t pay off.
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