Barrick Gold to unveil merger with Randgold Resources, say sources

Bristow speaks during a news conference at Tongon Gold Mine in the Korhogo region

Following completion of the Merger, Barrick shareholders will own approximately 66.6% and Randgold shareholders will own approximately 33.4%.

Barrick shareholders will own about two-thirds of the new entity and Randgold investors the remainder, the two companies said in a statement on Monday.

Canada's Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE:ABX), the world's largest bullion producer by value, is about to become even bigger as it has agreed to buy Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) in a $18.3 billion share deal.

John L. Thornton, executive chairman of Barrick, will become executive chairman of the new Barrick Group; Mark Bristow, CEO of Randgold, will become CEO of the new Barrick Group.

Barrick and Randgold are hoping that joining forces and combining their enormous resources will help them weather the storm. That could open the way for Newmont Mining Corp., the biggest gold miner by market value, to make an offer for Barrick, Walker said. Bristow has long criticised the volume over value approach of gold mining companies whilst Thornton - a former banker with Goldman Sachs Group - has espoused a strategy that seeks to recapture the entrepreneurial spirit of Barrick founder, Peter Munk, whlle adopting modern day investment morés in respect of the company retaining its truly world class gold deposits whilst freeing itself of the balance.

"The boards of Barrick Gold Corporation and Randgold Resources Limited are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended share-for-share merger.to create an industry-leading gold company", read the statement. The company shed non-core assets outright, or sold stakes to partners, to fix its balance sheet, after its debt peaked at $15.8 billion in 2013.

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However, they also announced the new company's shares would be traded in NY and Toronto, meaning Randgold's London listing on the FTSE 100 would be cancelled if the deal went ahead, as planned, early next year.

Randgold has operations in Mali, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.

The massive merger comes during a tough year for the gold industry.

The companies are reported to have been talking about a possible tie-up for three years...

"From Randgold's perspective the deal diversifies exposure away from high-risk African markets and towards Barrick's more stable North American assets".

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