The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that at the turn of the millennium, Inco, Falconbridge, Alcan, Dofasco, Molson, Fairmont and Four Seasons were being flogged to foreigners, their head offices downgraded to branch plants or eliminated. The Globe's Eric Reguly writes that Canadians -- including Canadian banks -- were sellers, not builders. If there was one company that was safe from the takeover onslaught, it was Barrick Gold. Then, Barrick was run by its founder, Peter Munk, the Hungarian-born Canadian patriot who wanted to build the world's biggest gold miner. After achieving that goal, he mused about creating a diversified resources giant, the equivalent of a BHP Billiton or Rio Tinto under the Maple Leaf, but by then the Canadian giants were already sold to foreigners. Barrick then offered to buy the smaller Randgold. At first, the takeover seemed like a big victory for Barrick -- and for Canada. The head office would remain in Toronto. Barrick would retain its role as the top mining name on the Toronto bourse. The reality was entirely different. We now know that, in effect, the deal was a reverse takeover, with Randgold executives in firm control of the enlarged company, including the board.
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