Barrick Gold to buy Equinox in $7.8 billion deal

on Monday, April 25, 2011

Barrick Gold to buy Equinox in $7.8 billion deal  In a move that illustrates the growing consolidation of the materials sector, the Barrick Gold Corp announced on Monday it will acquire Equinox Minerals in a deal worth a reported $7.8 billion.

Equinox Minerals has been the subject of takeover bids in the past, and over recent weeks many big names have come forward as they endeavored to purchase the mining giant. Chinese miner Minmetals put forth a bid worth $6.2 billion earlier in the month, but Barrick's offer was 16 percent higher and matched the company's expectations, according to Craig Williams, the head of Equinox. Williams said Barrick presented a bid "superior to the public proposal made by Minmetals in terms of certainty and value."

Barrick's all-cash offer values Equinox 30 percent higher than its shares traded on February 25. On that day, Equinox bid for Lundin Mining Corp - it has since reneged on its own attempted acquisition and accepted the offer from Barrick.

According to data from Thomson Reuters, the materials sector - of which mining is a part - has witnessed mergers worth $133 billion thus far this year. That figure is more than double the $57.5 billion in transactions seen in the same period last year.

Aaron Regent, Barrick Gold's chief executive, said the deal would both keep with the company's business model and increase its precious metals stockpiles. "The acquisition of Equinox would add a high-quality, long-life asset to our portfolio," Regent said in a statement. The move is "consistent with our strategy of increasing gold and copper reserves through exploration and acquisitions."

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