White knight rides to Osisko’s rescue, shares soar

For five years, Vancouver-based Goldcorp has been trying to buy Osisko to gain control of the company’s massive gold mine in Quebec called the Canadian Malartic.

Canada’s Yamana Gold (TSE:YRI) and Osisko Mining (TSE:OSK) on Wednesday announced a partnership in which Yamana will acquire a 50% interest in Osisko’s mining and exploration assets, in an attempt to stave off a hostile takeover from Vancouver’s Goldcorp (TSE:G).

Toronto-based Yamana will pay C$441.5 million (US$400 million) in cash and 95.7 million in common shares having an aggregate value of $929.6 million for the assets.

Under the agreement, Yamana will become an equal partner in all of Osisko’s mining and exploration assets.

Osisko will continue to operate the Canadian Malartic Mine and all other projects under the guidance of a joint operating committee, and will also maintain its head office in Montreal.

As part of the deal Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will provide funding of $550 million in a gold stream agreement.

Together with the cash consideration from Yamana, the deal will generate approximately $1 billion in cash to be distributed to Osisko shareholders.

Osisko CEO Sean Roosen shows off Canadian Malartic’s first gold bar poured at inauguration

Osisko’s shares soared 9% on the Toronto Stock Exchange to bring its market value to $3.3 billion, but shareholders in Yamana were more cautious taking the $7.3 billion counter down a notch.

Vancouver’s Goldcorp, at $22.5 billion the world’s second most valuable gold miner after Barrick Gold, was also higher, gaining 2.1%.

The miners were also boosted by a recovery in the gold price Wednesday after five straight sessions of losses for the metal. In lunchtime trade June gold futures were changing hands for $1,292 an ounce in New York.

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