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No Deal But Combination With Freeport Had a Lot of Logic – Barrick CEO

Freeport Chief Executive Richard Adkerson said he has no desire to combine Freeport with Barrick or another gold producer.

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Barrick Gold Chief Executive Mark Bristow said on Monday that a combination with copper miner Freeport McMoRan “had a lot of logic to it” even though a deal between the companies did not pan out.

Freeport Chief Executive Richard Adkerson told Reuters on Thursday he has no desire to combine Freeport with Barrick or another gold producer.

“I don’t believe it makes sense to combine a company like ours with a gold company,” Adkerson said. “But I don’t criticize Mark (Bristow) for thinking we have good assets.”

A surge in copper prices to eight-year highs has pushed up valuations of producers of the metal used in wiring, with Freeport’s stock nearly tripling in the past 12 months.

The combination of Freeport’s improving sales and stock price has seemingly shooed away potential bidders, including Barrick. Last year, Barrick CEO Mark Bristow expressed interest in Freeport.

At the time, Barrick’s market value was twice that of Freeport. Now, given its stock surge, Freeport is worth $20 billion more than Barrick. Bristow told investors his first priority now is to expand the assets Barrick already owns.

(With files from Reuters)

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