Mark Bristow, the chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Corp., says he has no intention of buying Kinross Gold Corp., putting an end to speculation that the big Canadian gold miner was poised to pounce on its struggling competitor.
Over the past few months, analysts have speculated that Toronto-based Barrick was in prime position to scoop-up Kinross at a bargain. Kinross shares have taken a beating since late last year, after the company unveiled the acquisition of Great Bear Resources Ltd., and after it was forced to sell its Russian mines in a hurry at a discount after the invasion of Ukraine.
A trio of Scotia Capital Inc. analysts recently speculated in a note to clients that a Barrick-Kinross combo makes sense. By buying Kinross, Scotia pointed out, Barrick would regain its position as the world’s biggest gold producer, a crown it lost a few years ago to Newmont Corp.
The deal would also have seen Barrick land Great Bear, a promising junior miner that it had long coveted, but Kinross snatched from under it. The Globe and Mail reported that Barrick was among a cadre of big miners that tried to buy Great Bear last year in an brisk bidding war that saw Kinross emerge as the victor.