United States gold giant Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) has cleared one of the regulatory hurdles for its planned mega- merger with Canada’s Goldcorp (TSX: G), a combination that would create the world’s largest producer by output, challenging Barrick’s recently cemented supremacy.
The Denver-based gold miner said the Canadian Competition Bureau had green-lighted the $10-billion stock-for-stock transaction and added it’s now working with other regulatory agencies to secure the rest of the required approvals.
The companies aim to close the deal in the second quarter, which will mark the arrival of the combined company, to be called Newmont Goldcorp. The new miner will have operations in the Americas, Australia and Ghana, producing between 6 and 7 million ounces of gold annually over the next ten years and beyond. In contrast, the new Barrick has targeted between 5.1 and 5.6 million ounces for this year.
The merged miner will be led by Newmont’s Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg, who is retiring by the end of the year. Tom Palmer, the company’s current chief operating officer, will then take over as CEO.
Newmont has said it expected to gain $100 million in savings from synergies between the two companies once the deal closed, by relocating Newmont’s North American headquarters from Elko to Vancouver, and by optimizing Goldcorp’s assets.
Vancouver-based Goldcorp, the world’s third-largest bullion producer by market value, has underperformed its peers in recent years. In late October, The company lost close to a fifth of its market value in a single day after reporting weak production, climbing costs and a decline in reserves.
The company’s shares have been in a long-term tailspin, but were trading 3.8% higher Tuesday at $14.83 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from more than $54 in 2011. Since the planned merger with Newmont was unveiled, the stock has gained 7.2%.
Newmont’s shares were up almost 3.5% in New York on Tuesday, trading at $34.39 by noon local time. The stock has climbed around 8.2% since the deal was announced last month.
Gold prices were up Tuesday, hitting their highest level in nearly 10 months, lifted by safe-haven buying as investors monitored continuing trade talks and political uncertainty in Europe.