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Australia's top gold miner Newmont makes $16.9bn bid for Newcrest

Offer price implies premium of about 21% to last closing value

The deal would be attractive for Newmont considering its top-class Cadia asset in Australia and its expanding footprint in North America, an investor said.   © Reuters

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -- Global gold miner Newmont Corporation has made an indicative $16.9 billion takeover offer for Australia's No. 1 gold miner Newcrest Mining, Newcrest said on Monday in a deal that would leverage both miners' operations in Australia and Canada.

The offer price implies a premium of about 21% to Newcrest's last closing value of 22.450 Australian dollars, where Newcrest shareholders will receive 0.380 Newmont shares per every Newcrest share.

"The Newcrest board, together with its financial and legal advisers, is considering the indicative proposal," the Australian gold miner said.

The deal would be attractive for Newmont considering Newcrest's top-class Cadia asset in Australia and its expanding footprint in North America, said senior investment officer Andy Forster of Argo Investments in Sydney.

"It's probably pretty good timing. Newcrest is a bit vulnerable at the minute with its leadership transition," he added.

Newcrest has been expected to announce a new chief executive this year after Sandeep Biswas said in December he would retire from his role after eight years.

Sherry Duhe, formerly chief financial officer, who joined Newcrest in February last year, is interim chief executive while a global internal and external search for a replacement is underway.

The offer follows a rejected stock bid of 0.363 Newmont share per every Newcrest share, which the Australian gold miner consider "would not deliver sufficiently compelling value to Newcrest shareholders and on that basis."

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