BMO sees more M&A in the gold space

CANADIAN investment bank BMO Capital Markets believes future transactions in the precious metals space will develop around three key themes.
BMO sees more M&A in the gold space BMO sees more M&A in the gold space BMO sees more M&A in the gold space BMO sees more M&A in the gold space BMO sees more M&A in the gold space

Staff reporter

These were stepping up a tier, creating jurisdictional synergies and generating growth.

BMO's comments followed news this week of Agnico Eagle Mines' "merger of equals" with fellow producer Kirkland Lake Gold.

Analyst Jackie Przybylowski said as travel restrictions gradually loosened, "we are of the opinion that merger activity could increase in pace", with corporate development teams completing their desktop studies and simply requiring boots-on-the-ground due diligence to sign off on transactions.

Przybylowski said a new tier of majors was emerging, led by Barrick Gold and Newmont, with the largest companies sitting "one transaction away" including South Africa-headquartered AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields, Canada-based Kinross Gold and Australia's Newcrest Mining.

"These companies could merge with each other, perhaps as mergers-of-equals, to increase relevancy among investors seeking large and liquid investment options," she said.

"Any of these companies could also possibly purchase a smaller senior producer or larger mid-sized peers for growth."

She cited the creation of Nevada Gold Mines and the Northern Star Resources-Saracen merger as examples of creating jurisdictional synergies, and said prime candidates in tier one jurisdictions included Pretium Resources, Victoria Gold, New Gold, Hycroft, Superior Gold, Wesdome and K92 Mining.

In terms of buying developers to deliver growth, BMO favoured Artemis Gold, Ascot Resources, Great Bear Resources, Orla Mining, Probe Metals, Rupert Resources and Wallbridge Mining.

"Overall, we expect all three of these themes could generate transactions in the gold space," Przybylowski said.

"Further, we anticipate that additional transactions - especially those which are completed at a premium - will generate interest in the sector to push up valuations, especially for M&A targets."