Barrick, Newmont work toward joint-venture deal – by Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 6, 2019)

The chief executives of Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. are working to reach agreement on a critical joint-venture deal that could stave off a high-stakes takeover battle, but deep divisions remain between the world’s largest gold producers.

Barrick CEO Mark Bristow and Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg were scheduled to meet in New York on Tuesday evening to discuss terms of a possible joint venture (JV) at their adjacent Nevada mining operations, according to a source familiar with the talks who was not authorized to speak publicly. Major shareholders of both companies are urging executives to solve long-standing disagreements over the proposal.

Newmont on Monday rejected Barrick’s US$17.8-billion all-stock, zero premium takeover offer, and instead proposed a joint-venture agreement in Nevada between the two companies. Newmont proposed an ownership split of 55 per cent in favour of Barrick with both companies sharing management responsibilities.

Mr. Bristow shot back and said a more equitable split is 63 per cent in favour of Barrick and he insisted that the JV can only work if Barrick is named the sole operator.

Mr. Bristow said he was skeptical the two could reach agreement considering neither has been able to hash out a deal after going back and forth on the idea for two decades but added he was willing to give it “one last try.”

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