The biggest merger in the gold mining industry has now been approved by the shareholders of both companies and is expected to close this quarter. The $10 billion deal will create the largest gold miner in the world, with planned annual production of 6 million to 7 million ounces of gold from proven reserves of some 1.33 million metric tons.
About 98% of Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) shareholders approved the deal Thursday morning following a vote for the merger last week that was approved by more than 97% of Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) shareholders. The deal also has been approved by regulators in Canada and Korea and remains under review in the European Union and Mexico.
The merged company will be called Newmont Goldcorp and will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NEM.
Newmont’s offer was first announced in January and appeared to be on the road to be derailed when Barrick Gold Corp. (NASDAQ: GOLD) put in an $18 billion unsolicited bid for Newmont. Barrick had just coughed up $6 billion to acquire Randgold Resources and Newmont’s board quickly rejected the offer, countering with a proposed joint venture between Newmont (38.5%) and Barrick (61.5%) in Nevada.
That venture ended up raising the hackles of some large Newmont shareholders. Others, including hedge fund Paulson, argued that Newmont was overpaying for Goldcorp. Paulson thought that Newmont’s offer was almost $1 a share too high. Within days, Newmont announced a special dividend of $0.88 per Newmont share provided that the transaction for Goldcorp was approved. That dividend will be paid on May 1 to shareholders of record on April 17.
While all the details are not yet wrapped up, Newmont Goldcorp begins life with proven and probable gold reserves totaling 118.2 million ounces, of which about 90% are located in Australia and North and South America.
Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg, who will retire later this year, said of Thursday’s vote, “We thank Newmont’s shareholders for their overwhelming support for this compelling value creation opportunity as we build the world’s leading gold company.”
Newmont President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Palmer will move into the chief executive role, and Noreen Doyle, independent non-executive chair at Newmont, will be the chair of Newmont Goldcorp. Rob Atkinson, most recently head of productivity and technical support at Rio Tinto, will become executive vice-president and COO.
Gold closed at $1,313.90 on Wednesday, as the yellow metal continues slowly to improve its price since touching $1,200 an ounce last summer. In January of 2018 gold traded around $1,400 before beginning its slow slide to $1,200.
In the early afternoon Thursday, Newmont shares traded down about 0.8%, at $35.99 in a 52-week range of $29.06 to $41.98. Goldcorp shares traded down about 0.6% to $11.53, in a 52-week range of $8.42 to $14.66.