Gold Fields’ all-share bid for Yamana remains “work in progress”, says Griffith

Chris Griffith, CEO, Gold Fields

GOLD Fields’ attempt to convince shareholders to back its proposed all-share takeover of Yamana Gold was still “a work in progress”.

Citing Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith, Reuters said that the market was beginning to understand the strategy and the timing of the deal but it was concerned about the premium the company was paying.

“We are trying to get them to see the massive upside that exists in this deal,” Griffith told the newswire at a mining conference in Kalgoorlie, Australia. “So work in progress is probably the best way to describe it,” he said when asked if investors and shareholders were on board with the deal.

The proposed deal, which valued the Canada-listed miner at $6.7bn on May 31, caused shares in Gold Fields to plummet. It subsequently promised higher dividends and a Toronto Stock Exchange listing to sweeten the offer.

Gold Fields shareholders will vote on the deal in the second week of October.

Griffith said the company has held a couple of road shows in recent weeks to “educate” shareholders.

Redwheel, one of the 10 biggest investors in Gold Fields, publicly told the miner to cancel the takeover, which it described as an expensive error with no guarantee of growth and profitability.

When asked if the deal terms would be changed if there’s pushback from shareholders, Griffith said: “The deal structure has been locked in. We don’t foresee that we will change the deal structure. But I do say that never say never.”