A vast majority of Goldcorp Inc. shareholders voted today in favor of the proposed merger with Newmont Mining Corp., bringing the two companies closer to finalizing a nearly $10 billion deal.
Next step is Newmont’s shareholder balloting in a special meeting on April 11.
Vancouver-based Goldcorp announced that more than 97 percent of the votes cast at a special meeting or by proxy favored allowing Newmont to acquire all outstanding shares of Goldcorp and create a new company called Newmont Goldcorp. The new company would be the largest gold producer in the world.
Newmont’s chief executive officer, Gary Goldberg, said in an announcement welcoming the Goldcorp vote that Newmont appreciates “Goldcorp shareholders’ vote of confidence, which moves us one step closer to creating the world’s leading gold business as measured by assets, prospects and people.
“Our teams share a strong commitment to safety and sustainability and to delivering superior value to shareholders, employees, host countries and communities,” he said.
If Newmont shareholders approve, Newmont and Goldcorp earlier stated they expect the merger to be finalized in this quarter, which ends June 30.
Newmont made an offer March 25 to sweeten the pot for Newmont shareholders to approve the merger by stating it would pay a one-time special, 88-cent dividend that the company linked to expected savings with the joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. for Nevada operations.
Newmont and Barrick announced March 11 that they had reached an agreement for the joint venture covering Nevada operations that they hoped would provide roughly $500 million in average annual pre-tax synergies.
Barrick will be operating the Nevada mines, with the joint venture’s ownership to be 61.5 percent Barrick and 38.5 percent Newmont.
The joint venture agreement put an end to Barrick’s efforts to acquire Newmont. Barrick finalized a merger with Randgold Resources on Jan. 1 but for a short time was trying for a Newmont merger this year.
Goldcorp consented to Newmont’s one-time dividend offer that delivers value to existing Newmont shareholders. The dividend will be paid May 1 to shareholders of record on April 17, if both Newmont and Goldcorp shareholders approve the proposed combination of the two companies.
Goldcorp shareholders are in line to receive 0.328 of a Newmont share plus 2 cents in cash for each share they own under the merger plan.
Newmont and Goldcorp have stated that the proposed deal will provide $365 million in annual pre-tax synergies, supply chain efficiencies and improvements, provide the highest dividend from major gold producers, and have operations in favorable mining jurisdictions on four continents.