Kinross Gold Is Said to Reject Takeover Approach from Endeavour

(Bloomberg) — Endeavour Mining Plc made a takeover approach to rival Kinross Gold Corp. in recent months that was rebuffed by the Canadian company, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Endeavour, an acquisitive gold miner backed by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, was considering a potential cash and stock deal for Kinross, the people said. It held talks with potential partners about teaming up on a bid, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Discussions between Endeavour and Kinross didn’t proceed beyond the initial stage due to differences over valuation and other issues, the people said. Kinross shares have gained 16% in Toronto trading this year. Both companies have market capitalizations of about $5.9 billion.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the talks could revive at a later date. A spokesperson for Endeavour declined to comment. Kinross didn’t respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

Endeavour’s takeover attempt is the latest sign of consolidation in the gold industry as miners face the prospect of stagnating production levels and rising input costs. The sector has seen a flurry of dealmaking in the past few years, as smaller companies seek to combine or snap up assets following large transactions by the two biggest producers. Most recently, industry leader Newmont Corp. agreed to buy Australian rival Newcrest Mining Ltd. for about $19 billion.

Endeavour has been one of the most acquisitive among the industry’s mid-sized players, having sealed several deals in recent years. The miner agreed to buy Teranga Gold Corp. in 2020 in an all-share deal. In the same year, it agreed to buy rival Semafo Inc. for about C$1 billion in stock to add West African assets.

Still, the company has also backed away from deals in the past if it couldn’t reach a friendly agreement — it abandoned an attempt to buy Centamin Plc, which owns the Sukari mine in Egypt, after the company rebuffed its advances. In 2017, it ended talks about a potential combination with the former Acacia Mining Plc, a gold miner in Tanzania that has since been reabsorbed by Barrick Gold Corp.

Toronto-based Kinross has long been mooted as a takeover candidate, especially after selling its Russian assets last year. The company, which has mines and projects in the US, Canada, Brazil, Mauritania and Chile, said in September it had been having discussions with activist investor Elliott Investment Management and announced a $300 million share buyback.

–With assistance from Thomas Biesheuvel.

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