Kirkland Lake Gold identifies rejected rival bidders to Newmarket merger deal

TORONTO – Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. (TSX:KLG) has identified the unsolicited alternative joint bids valued at $1.44 billion it rejected from two miners it deemed inferior to a deal it previously accepted with Newmarket Gold Inc.

Responding to market rumours after its shares were halted Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Kirkland Lake confirmed that Gold Fields Netherlands Services B.V. and Silver Standard Resources Inc. submitted several proposals in cash and Silver Standard shares.

In an Oct. 28 proxy circular, Kirkland Lake said it receive alternative bids but didn’t identify the proponents.

The Toronto-based miner said Friday that after receiving legal and financial advice it determined the revised proposal was “not financially superior” to a deal with Vancouver-based Newmarket (TSX:NMI) announced in September.

Consequently, Kirkland Lake said under terms of the deal with Newmarket, it is prevented from holding discussions with the rival bidders or providing them any access to information to conduct due diligence.

It said Kirkland’s board and special committee continue to recommend that its shareholders approve the Newmarket transaction on Nov. 23.

The proposed merger would result in a company with a market capitalization of $2.4 billion that can produce about 500,000 ounces of gold annually at seven mines and five mills in Canada and Australia.