New York/Toronto — Barrick Gold is going hostile in its bid to acquire Newmont Mining and create the world’s largest gold producer by offering $17.8bn for the company in an all-share deal. The offer raises the potential for a three-way fight between some of the world’s largest gold miners, and comes after Newmont’s CEO blasted talks about a takeover as a “desperate” and “bizarre” move by Barrick. Barrick, based in Toronto, said it is offering “at market” valuation of 2.5694 a share for each Newmont share. That implies that it is valuing Colorado-based Newmont at $17.8bn and $33.50 a share, an 8% discount to Friday’s close. The bid, if completed, would likely derail Newmont’s own $10bn takeover of rival Goldcorp, announced last month, putting a big question mark over the future of three large gold miners. It would also put an end to years of on-again, off-again talks to merge Barrick and Newmont, the latest of which collapsed in 2014. “It’s a desperate and bizarre attempt to muddle u...

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