Two of the world’s most prominent gold miners are merging.
Barrick Gold announced on Monday that it will acquire competitor Randgold in an all-stock deal. According to Barrick, it will form a new company, currently called New Barrick, and give current Randgold shareholders 6.1280 shares for every share they own of Randgold stock. When New Barrick is formed, Randgold shareholders will own approximately 33.4% of the company and Barrick shareholders will own the remaining 66.6%. CNN earlier reported on the news.
The combined New Barrick would become the world’s largest gold miner with a value of approximately $18 billion. It would also control five of the world’s top 10 largest gold mines.
Combining the companies now could prove to be an important lifeline for Barrick and Randgold. The entire gold industry has been hit hard with declining gold prices that have put pressure on their businesses. In the past year, gold prices have lost more than $100 in value and are now hovering at $1,205.10.
By merging, Barrick and Randgold could find themselves in a more favorable position to withstand those declining gold prices. But the companies stopped short on Monday of discussing any concrete plans for their future operation. They did, however, say that Barrick executive chairman John Thornton will remain in that role in the newly formed company. Randgold CEO Mark Bristow will serve as its chief executive.