Currently viewing Global edition

"There are too many companies in a business that's too small"

In the wake of the drawn-out pursuit for Nevsun Resources and the proposed Barrick Gold-Randgold Resources merger, Sprott US Holdings president and CEO Rick Rule has outlined why he expects to see a new chapter of M&A activity.
"There are too many companies in a business that's too small" "There are too many companies in a business that's too small" "There are too many companies in a business that's too small" "There are too many companies in a business that's too small" "There are too many companies in a business that's too small"

Rick Rule shares his thoughts on increasing M&A activity

Staff reporter

In an interview released last week, Rule outlined two key reasons for the M&A trend to continue - too many companies in a small industry and high-quality resource deposits available at attractive valuations.

"There are too many companies in a business that's too small," he said.

"[And] the industry has too much general and administrative expense — so anything you can do to ‘thank and excuse' one set of management teams and rationalise more assets under fewer managers, is a good thing."

Rule said the company was reviewing the top 30 M&A targets and had whittled it down to a top seven "as we speak".

He believed the gold sector was "most ripe for consolidation", given that gold miners' cost of capital was lower than base metal miners' and because more development financing options were available.

However he expected to see broader M&A activity in the coming years.

"Any top quality deposit, irrespective of commodity, will be a prime takeover candidate in the next five years … even greatly out of favour commodities like uranium," he said.