FILE PHOTO: Mark Bristow, chief executive officer of Barrick Gold, speaks during an interview at the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo
(Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp has withdrawn its proposal to buy Newmont Mining Corp, the companies said on Monday, ending a hostile takeover effort that sought to unite the world’s two biggest gold producers.
Newmont and Barrick have instead signed an agreement to create a joint venture for their mining operations in Nevada, the companies said.
Barrick launched an $18 billion takeover offer for Newmont last month, which was rejected by Newmont. The companies have been embroiled in a bitter war of words over the deal.
Last week, top Barrick shareholders urged the gold miner to strike an agreement for the Nevada operations. Both companies agreed to combine their Nevada assets to cut costs, but were so far unable to hammer out a solution on how it should be done.
The companies said on Monday Barrick will operate the joint venture and will be the majority owner, with 61.5 percent stake.
“We are finally taking down the fences to operate Nevada as a single entity in order to deliver full value to both sets of shareholders,” Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in a statement.
Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur