Barrick is buying Randgold to create the world's top gold miner

Barrick Gold And Randgold Resources To Create World’s Largest Gold Miner

Thornton will be executive chairman, while Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow will be president and chief executive.

In one sense, both Mark Bristow, the CEO of Randgold whose career in synonymous with the founding and development of Randgold Resources, and Thornton, are market outsiders.

Barrick's majority-owned Acacia Mining Plc has been stuck in limbo after Tanzania imposed a ban on exports of mineral concentrates in 2017 and slapped a US$190 billion tax bill on the London-listed company. That could open the way for Newmont Mining Corp., the biggest gold miner by market value, to make an offer for Barrick, Walker said. Shares of Barrick, the world's second largest gold producer, were up 6.3 percent in afternoon trade in Toronto.

"Our industry has been criticized for its short-term focus, undisciplined growth and poor returns on invested capital", Bristow said in the statement.

Two-thirds of the directors of the combined company will be nominated by Barrick while one-third will be nominated by Randgold.

Speculation of a tie-up between the two companies comes as this year's Denver Gold Group conference, is about to kick into gear.

The combined company claims it.

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The deal values Randgold shares at about £49, its closing price on Friday.

The current spot gold price is not helping the sector, having lost out on traditional safe-haven flows to the dollar, pushing it 10 percent lower this year. 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.

In 2017, Barrick and Randgold combined produced 6.64 million ounces while the next largest gold miner, Newmont, churned out 5.27 million ounces.

Talks on the deal, which is still subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2019, started more than three years ago with advisors taken in July, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Randgold Resources' shareholders would hold the rest of the stock.

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

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "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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