Canada clears Endeavour Mining-Semafo merger

The Ity mine in Côte d’Ivoire. (Image courtesy of Endeavour Mining)

Canadian authorities have given Endeavour Mining (TSX: EDV) the go-ahead for the acquisition of smaller rival Semafo (TSX: SMF), which would create West Africa’s top gold producer.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said Endeavour, determined there was no need for a national security review of the C$1 billion ($732m) deal, announced in March this year.

Both companies’ boards and Endeavour’s shareholders had already approved the business combination, which is expected to close on or around July 1.

The transaction brings together six mines with strong cash flows into one portfolio. It also allows for assets optimization and pipeline growth. The combined gold miner will have an estimated annual production of one million ounces per year.

Long-time in the making

Endeavour and Semafo had previously worked as industry partners. In 2019, they began a dialogue to evaluate the merits of a business combination, but were unable to reach a deal. Talks resumed earlier this year.

Semafo’s shares had lost more than 50% of their value since early November 2019, when a convoy of mine employees was attacked in eastern Burkina Faso. The ambush caused at least 37 deaths and triggered an operations halt at the Boungou mine.

The stock, however, jumped on Friday’s news and was trading at C$4.64 in Toronto at 10:00 am local time, 40% higher than the day of the Burkina Faso attack.

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