Canadian Kirkland to buy Detour Gold for $3.7 billion to boost reserves

Canadian Kirkland to buy Detour Gold for $3.7 billion to boost reserves

Reuters  | Nov 25, 2019 10:33

Canadian Kirkland to buy Detour Gold for $3.7 billion to boost reserves

(Reuters) - Canadian miner Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd fell as much as 16% in Toronto on Monday after the company said it would buy smaller rival Detour Gold Corp for about C$4.89 billion ($3.68 billion) in an all-stock deal, as it looks to scale up its mining operations and boost reserves.

Kirkland Lake Gold offered 0.4343 shares to Detour Gold shareholders for each share held, valuing Detour at C$4.89 billion. In early morning trade, Detour shares were trading up 4.3% at C$23.17.

Acquisitions in the sector have been scarce in recent years as miners focused on cost-cutting, but the need to bolster shrinking reserves to boost growth and take advantage of rising gold prices are providing the impetus for consolidation.

The deal, representing a premium of 23.8% to Friday's close, is expected to generate pre-tax savings of about $75 to $100 million per year, the companies said in a statement.

The transaction gives Kirkland Lake a third “cornerstone” asset in Canada's Ontario province, with potential to boost annual exploration spending to $40 million, Chief Executive Officer Tony Makuch said on a conference call Monday.

Kirkland operates Macassa, also in Ontario, and Fosterville in Australia.

Cost cuts will be achieved within 24 months, with a focus on supply chain and other general and administrative expenses, Makuch added.

"We do not expect a positive reaction to the deal as it is at a 24% premium," Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) analyst Fahad Tariq said in a note on Monday, adding that it will add Kirkland Lake's overall cost profile, and raises concerns about potentially weaker exploration updates coming at Fosterville.

On completion of the deal, Kirkland Lake Gold and Detour Gold shareholders will own about 73% and 27%, respectively, of the merged company.

RBC Capital Markets was financial adviser to Kirkland Lake Gold and BMO Capital Markets to Kirkland Lake Gold.

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