Newmont CEO Eager to Meet with Barrick But Not About Merger – by Danielle Bochove and Ed Hammond (Bloomberg News – March 5, 2019)

After more than a week of tough talk firing back and forth, the leaders of the two biggest gold producers are finally coming to the table.

Newmont Mining Corp. Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg said he will be meeting with Barrick Gold Corp.’s Mark Bristow later Tuesday in New York to talk through their differences. However, he said in a Bloomberg TV interview that he won’t be discussing Barrick’s bid for his company, but rather Newmont’s proposal for a joint venture around the two companies’ assets in Nevada.

Goldberg said he heard from Bristow earlier and that “I’m looking forward to catching up with him later today here in New York. This will be the discussion on the joint venture with what we proposed yesterday.’’ Barrick spokeswoman Kathy du Plessis didn’t immediately have a comment.

In the past week, leaders at the two companies have disparaged their counterparts as inept managers who have squandered assets and destroyed shareholder value. And that’s before a formal offer is even on the table.

At stake is a potential $17.8 billion deal that would create the world’s largest gold producer. Newmont kicked off the fighting talk, with Goldberg calling Barrick’s no-premium proposal to buy the company “desperate and bizarre” even before Barrick publicly presented its terms on Feb. 25.

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