Primero Mining buys Brigus Gold for $208 million

Canadian gold miner Primero (TSX:P)(NYSE, ASX:PPP) said Monday it is acquiring fellow firm Brigus Gold Corp. (TSX, NYSE:BRD) in an all-stock transaction valued at about $208 million (Cdn$220).

The move, said the Toronto-based firm, aims to create a diversified, Americas-based mid-tier gold producer that would generate the equivalent of 250,000 to 270,000 ounces of gold in 2014 from two producing mines, potentially ramping up output to 400,000 gold-equivalent ounces by 2017.

Primero is offering 0.175 of a share for each Halifax-based Brigus share. That values Brigus at 91¢ a share, a 44% premium over its closing price on Friday. Brigus investors will also get shares in a new spin-off company that will hold its mining projects in Saskatchewan and Mexico.

"This acquisition is immediately accretive to our production and cash flow," said in a statement Primero CEO Joseph F. Conway.  "It also diversifies Primero geographically, into a very prospective and proven mining jurisdiction that our team is excited to operate in.  Primero has the financial resources to invest in the development and expansion opportunities at the Black Fox mine to realize its full potential.

"We believe that with further investment, the Black Fox mine will grow and continue to create significant value for shareholders."

The deal is another sign that mining M&A activity is picking up in the Canadian junior sector, following an extremely slow period. Last week copper miner Mercator Minerals (TSX:ML) was bought by Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire.

Image courtesy of Primero Mining