Gold Fields, Yamana bosses defend takeover deal as major investors oppose | Jobi Cool


“It was not unexpected that it took time for the market to understand,” Gold Fields chief executive Chris Griffith said on Friday in a television interview with BNN Bloomberg. “There was a pretty big group of shareholders who said we don’t understand this.”

Van Eck Associates Corp., Yamana’s largest investor and Gold Fields’ third-largest shareholder, criticizes the transaction, Globe and Mail reported on Thursday. Portfolio manager Joe Foster called the deal “poorly structured” and said the market did not understand the strategy behind the deal, the paper said. A message left with Foster was not immediately returned.

Another Gold Fields investor, Redwheel, called for the deal to be scrapped in June.

Griffith says he “remains confident in our deal” and hopes to get the majority of investors on board when shareholders vote on the transaction. The Johannesburg-based miner will begin international roadshows to promote the deal starting next week. Yamana shareholders will vote on the deal on November 21, while Gold Fields investors will vote on November 22.

“This is great, both in the short term for Yamana shareholders – who will receive Gold Fields’ growth and cash flow – and in the long term for Gold Fields, which will benefit from the portfolio of growth projects that come with the Yamana assets,” Griffith said.

Earlier Friday, Yamana Chairman Peter Marrone said in the company’s third-quarter earnings call that the transaction was a “well-structured and well-thought-out deal,” dismissing criticism.

Yamana shares fell 2.8% to C$6 as of 12:25 a.m. in Toronto, below Gold Fields’ offer of C$6.70. Earlier, Gold Fields shares were down 1.4% in South African trading.

Gold Fields said on May 31 it was seeking to buy Toronto-based Yamana in an all-stock deal then valued at about $9.2 billion, with the offer implying a 34% premium.

(By Jacob Lorinc)



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