Shareholders in US gold giant Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) have almost unanimously approved the miner’s proposed $10B takeover of Canada’s Goldcorp (TSX:G) (NYSE:GG), a deal that creates the world’s largest gold producer by market value, output and reserves, robbing Barrick of its recently cemented supremacy.
Almost 98% of the votes were in favour of the transaction, which was first announced in January, and expected to close in the second quarter of the year.
The resounding approval comes only a week after Goldcorp’s investors also gave the deal their thumbs up.
“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’s chief executive, Gary Goldberg, said in the statement.
The combined company, which will be called Newmont Goldcorp, will mine in the Americas, Australia and Ghana, producing between 6 and 7 million ounces of gold annually over the next ten years and beyond, the parties said.
It will be initially led by 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. Goldcorp’s Vancouver office, in turn, will become the designated base for North American operations for Newmont Goldcorp.
As part of the transaction, Newmont has committed to sell between $1 billion and $1.5 billion worth of assets over the next two years. It has also promised initial cost savings of $100 million a year.
The assets Newmont Goldcorp is expected to put on the chopping block, combined with mines Barrick plans to sell in the wake of its acquisition of Randgold Resources earlier this year, is expected by analysts to fuel further sector deals.
The making of the new gold king was not free of drama. Roughly a month after the takeover was announced, Barrick made a hostile takeover bid for Newmont and urged the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based miner to withdraw its offer for Goldcorp.
Even after Newmont rejected Barrick’s bid and the two miners agreed to create a joint venture in Nevada, uncertainty arose some of the U.S. miner’s major shareholders.
VanEck and Paulson & Co. said they opposed the premium, but Newmont weathered the storm by promising to sweeten the pot with the largest dividend in 32 years, which will be paid out on May 1 to those who hold shares as of April 17.