Goldcorp Inc. chairman Ian Telfer says he’s not surprised no one has stepped forward to top the Vancouver miner’s $2.9 billion offer for Montreal gold company Osisko Mining Corp.
In the two months since Goldcorp made the hostile bid, the Quebec company has been insisting that shareholders can get a better deal elsewhere. But Telfer is confident the deal will go through.
“The landscape has changed and a few billion dollars is a lot and we’ve put a billion of that in cash,” Telfer said in an interview Wednesday with CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange.
“There’s very few companies that could step up to that and a number of our big competitors have got other challenges right now. That’s keeping them out of the bidding, which was again part of our decision to go ahead.”
One of the other challenges is that many gold miners are overextended and selling off properties because of the steep fall in gold prices last year.
Malartic mine is valued property
Telfer said Goldcorp had no choice but to make a hostile bid.
“They cut off negotiations. We’ve been trying to deal with them for five years and it’s been on again, off again as they’ve built the mine. We were in discussions with them as recently as November but there were some bits of information we were waiting for and they decided they didn’t want to give us that information and they wanted to terminate the discussions. So we really were without a choice,” he said.
Osisko is developing the Canadian Malartic gold mine, a significant gold find in the Abitibi region of Quebec.
Goldcorp believes the mine will have low sustainability costs going forward and has been trying to gain access to specifications on the mine since before it made its bid for Osisko.
Earlier this month, Goldcorp agreed not to take up and pay for any Osisko shares under its offer until April 15, while Osisko agreed to waive its shareholder rights plan by April 14.
Osisko also agreed to provide Goldcorp with access to due diligence materials starting April 1.
"We’re getting an excellent asset. That’s why we’re bidding on it. That’s why we’re paying $2.9 billion for it," Telfer said.
Under terms of the offer, Osisko shareholders are entitled to receive 0.146 of a Goldcorp common share plus $2.26 in cash for each Osisko common share.
Goldcorp expects to start taking up shares April 15. Telfer said Goldcorp shareholders and shareholders who own stock in both companies believe it’s a good deal, but don’t want Goldcorp to overbid.
Goldcorp says its already pushed up Osisko shares
“We think there are big advantages to the Osisko shareholders. First of all, we are offering them a premium. Since Dec. 1 when we stopped talking to them, their stock is up 90 per cent,” Telfer said.
“That’s why we think the price we’ve offered is fair. They’ve had a great ride so there are buyers in there more recently and they always want more, but if you are a long-term Osisko shareholder, this has been wonderful and we’re responsible for it,” he added.
Telfer said he believes the price of gold is bottoming out and there may be a better year ahead for gold mining companies.
“With all the challenges going on in the world, plus all the currencies being devalued, I think the future for gold looks very, very bright and I think we’re going to come out of this price slump faster than the base metals,” he said.