(Bloomberg) — Newmont Corp. has offered to buy Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd. in a $17 billion deal that would strengthen the US mining powerhouse’s position in copper and gold.
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The takeover, if completed, would be the largest globally so far this year and one of the biggest in Australian history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Newcrest jumped as much as 14% in early trading in Sydney, the most since 2008.
The proposed deal comes as gold prices have experienced a sustained period of strength since 2020, and have rallied about 15% since early November. It would increase Newmont’s footprint in copper, which is becoming more sought after due to its use in renewable energy and electric vehicles as economies de-carbonize.
Newmont confirmed it made the offer in a statement late Sunday, Denver time, saying the deal “presents a powerful value proposition” to both businesses.
Newmont, already one of the world’s biggest gold miners with a market value of nearly $40 billion, made an earlier lower bid for Newcrest that its board rejected.
“The strong Australian dollar, gold prices and declining global reserves suggest more acquisitions are likely, particularly for businesses like Newcrest, which has significant copper exposure,” Bloomberg Intelligence industry analyst Mohsen Crofts said in a note on Monday.
Newcrest derives the majority of its revenue from gold, and the rest from silver and copper, with mines in Australia, Canada and Papua New Guinea. The company plans to ramp up the copper component to take advantage of the expected surge in demand, Sherry Duhe, acting chief executive officer, said in an interview in November.
Under the proposed deal, shareholders would receive 0.38 Newmont shares for each Newcrest share held, equivalent to A$27.16 a share or a 21% premium to Friday’s close, the Melbourne-based miner said in a regulatory filing Monday. The board is considering the proposal, which is conditional on Newmont being granted exclusive due diligence, Newcrest said.
The approach comes in the middle of Newcrest’s search for a new chief executive officer following the resignation of Sandeep Biswas in December. Duhe former chief financial officer of oil and gas producer Woodside Energy Group Ltd., is acting CEO until a permanent replacement is found.
Newcrest shares were up 11.7% to A$25.075 as of 2:09 p.m. in Sydney.
The Australian miner has engaged JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Gresham Advisory Partners Ltd. as its financial advisers and Herbert Smith Freehills as its legal adviser. Newmont said it had engaged BofA Securities, Centerview Partners LLC and Lazard as financial advisers, and King & Wood Mallesons and White & Case LLP as legal advisers.
–With assistance from Harry Brumpton and Jeff Sutherland.
(Adds comment from Newmont. Adds Newcrest’s current share move in 10th paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected US miner to Australian miner in final paragraph.)
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