The chief executives of gold miners Barrick and Newmont, who are locked in a battle over a hostile takeover bid, had a “constructive” dinner on Tuesday.
Incoming Newmont chief executive Tom Palmer said his predecessor Gary Goldberg and Barrick chief Mark Bristow laid the foundations for a deal over their assets in Nevada.
Earlier this week Newmont proposed a Nevadan joint venture, suggesting terms which would give Barrick a 55 per cent economic interest in the venture.
“We’re very genuine about putting on the table a draft joint venture term sheet,” Palmer told the Financial Times. “To get a resolution, to exercise value for shareholders.”
Newmont on Monday rejected Barrick’s $18bn (£14bn) unsolicited takeover offer, saying it is “not in the best interests of Newmont’s shareholders.”
“Realising value through Barrick’s proposal for Newmont’s shareholders hinges entirely on a new management team that lacks global operating experience and is only two months into its own transformational integration,” Goldberg said in a statement.
The bid follows a series of megadeals amid consolidation in the sector.
Bristow took charge of Barrick last year after the company’s $6bn takeover of Randgold Resources, the business he founded.
Meanwhile, Newmont is in the middle of a process to acquire Goldcorp, another of the world’s largest gold miners.
Newmont’s board said this week it thinks the Goldcorp deal, which was announced in January, is better for shareholders than Barrick’s bid.
“[The] combination with Goldcorp represents a superior value creation opportunity to generate long-term value through an unmatched portfolio of world class operations, projects, exploration opportunities, reserves and talent.”
The board told Bristow: “We recognise that there are value-creation opportunities available in Nevada if we work together. We have always been, and we remain, prepared to explore these opportunities, despite your public comments to the contrary.
“Achieving these opportunities does not require Newmont to be acquired by Barrick, and for our stockholders to be exposed to the many risks inherent in Barrick.”