The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that flush with cash, Australian mining companies are buying Canadian gold mines and more are expected to join the fray.
The Globe's Niall McGee writes that last week, Melbourne-based St. Barbara Ltd. reached a friendly agreement to buy Vancouver's Atlantic Gold for $722-million. Atlantic owns and operates a profitable gold mine in Nova Scotia with a long reserve life.
Earlier this year, Australia's biggest gold company, Newcrest Mining Corp., paid $806-million (U.S.) for a majority stake in Red Chris, one of Imperial Metals' prized gold and copper mines.
The revival of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the junior and intermediate Canadian gold sector comes not long after the world's two biggest gold companies -- Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining -- struck multibillion-dollar transactions of their own.
After years of cost-cutting, the balance sheets of many mining companies have improved, meaning M&A is once again a viable strategic growth option.
Superior-performing Australian companies are among the best positioned of any global companies to be the buyers and beaten-down Canadian companies are seen as the most vulnerable targets.
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