Gold Fields, Silver Standard withdraw $1.4bn joint bid for Kirkland Lake - Mining Weekly
ANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – South Africa-based gold major Gold Fields has withdrawn from its joint offer with Silver Standard Resources to buy Kirkland Lake Gold after the Canadian miner rejected the bid last week.
However, theJohannesburg-based company said in a statement Friday that it remained interested in a negotiated board-supported transaction, despite Kirkland moving ahead with plans to take over Australian firm Newmarket Gold in a transaction estimated at C$1-billion.
“Gold Fields remains interested in pursuing negotiations toward a board-supported transaction with Kirkland Lake in the event that Kirkland Lake’s shareholders reject the Newmarket transaction,” the company stated Friday.
News agency Reuters reported that several Kirkland shareholders said Wednesday they wanted the company to resume talks with Gold Fields and Silver Standard, arguing that the miner rejected their bid too quickly. They have also asked Kirkland to disclose more details of the joint offer so that they can weigh the benefits an acquisition of Newmarket would bring.
Kirkland Lake is an intermediate gold producer with five former mines in north-eastern Ontario, which produced more than 22-million ounces of gold at an average grade of 15.1 g/t. The firm also has more than $200-million of cash and equivalents on hand, adding to its appeal for prospective buyers, despite the time to snap up bargains probably being paused for now as gold put in an impressive performance.
Toronto-based Kirkland Lake has asked shareholders to vote on the proposed Newmarket deal, which will create what the firms billed as a low-cost producer with operations in Canada and Australia. Kirkland Lake has three joint unsolicited offers by Gold Fields and Silver Standard, valued at up to C$1.44-billion.
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