Barrick Gold's Munk says Newmont "not shareholder-friendly" - report

Reuters
Barrick Gold Corporation Founder and Chairman Peter Munk attends a news conference in Toronto
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Barrick Gold Corporation Founder and Chairman Peter Munk attends a news conference in Toronto, December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris

TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp's founder and outgoing chairman Peter Munk criticized potential takeover target Newmont Mining Corp in an interview with the National Post newspaper on Thursday, saying the U.S. miner is "not shareholder-friendly."

Merger talks between the two gold miners broke down last Thursday, but there have been some discussions between their representatives since then, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

In particular, Munk criticized Newmont for shutting reporters out of its recent annual meeting, something he said Barrick would not do.

"That's the cultural difference. That's the kind of people they are, and that's why it's so difficult to make a deal," he said, according to the National Post. "They are not shareholder-friendly."

Munk, who is set to step down at Barrick's April 30 annual meeting, also said he believes a merger with Newmont is "just a matter of time" because of the potential cost savings.

The latest round of talks marks the third time Barrick and Newmont have contemplated a deal in the last seven years. Analysts and others have long thought a tie-up makes sense from a cost-cutting perspective, particularly given that both companies have significant operations in Nevada.

A spokesman for Newmont could not immediately be reached for comment late on Thursday evening.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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