Britain’s Endeavour Mining Corp. plans to acquire Canadian gold miner Semafo Inc. in a friendly deal worth $1-billion as an increasing cadre of global mining companies pare back operations and conserve cash with the COVID-19 pandemic worsening.
West Africa-focused Endeavour has agreed to pay 0.1422 of its shares for each Semafo share, a 55-per-cent premium to Semafo’s closing price on Friday.
London-based Endeavour, whose main listing is on the Toronto Stock Exchange, operates gold mines in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Montreal-based Semafo’s main operations are in Burkina Faso, including its biggest mine, Boungou, which was idled late last year after a deadly terrorist attack.
Sébastien de Montessus, chief executive officer of Endeavour, said he considered putting takeover talks with Semafo on hold until after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, but ultimately decided the miner would be better off weathering the crisis as part of a bigger entity than going it alone.
“We might face a lot of issues right now in Africa with the virus spreading, but I think we’ll be stronger having four operations and being together, rather than being smaller and remote,” he said.