Barrick Gold considers equity investment to reduce debt and raise cash
In an attempt to reduce debt load, Barrick Gold considered a wide range of options including strategic equity investment. Discussions are exploratory and no deals have been made. A spokesman from Barrick refused to comment on the deal.
Reports claimed that top funders in Middle East and in Asia have met with Barrick's management to test interest in a private placement-style equity deal. This is to raise capital and bring in long-term investors which in turn would boost the company's market confidence.
The said move is similar to Teck Resources Ltd. In 2009, Teck sold barely 17% stake to the Chinese sovereign wealth fund. During that time, Teck struggled with considerable debt as soon as it acquired Fording Coal for USD14.1 billion
The world's top miner, Barrick, faced the same struggle in the recent year. In Pascua Lama, the price of gold dropped to 21% while gold prices soared in Argentina and Chile. Over the last twelve months, Barrick's shares have dropped to 46%. In July, Barrick's shares dropped to CAD14.22 which counts as the lowest point since the year 1992. However, Barrick rebounded with stocks closing in at CAD21.55 last Wednesday.
As for the company's copper assets, Bloomberg reported Barrack considered selling part of the copper business. Yet, Chief executive of Barrick, Jamie Sokalsky denied the claims, stating, "They are still core assets for us. It is not about just gold or copper, it's about an asset that generates returns and free cash flow."