(Reuters) – Gold Fields Ltd and Silver Standard Resources Inc withdrew their offer to buy Kirkland Lake Gold Inc after the Canadian miner asked its shareholders to vote in favor of its takeover bid for Australia’s Newmarket Gold Inc.
Kirkland had confirmed a Reuters report last week that South Africa’s Gold Fields and Canada’s Silver Standard had made three joint bids for the company and recently sweetened their offer to about C$1.4 billion ($1.04 billion).
Gold Fields said on Friday it would pursue negotiations with Kirkland if the miner’s shareholders rejected the Newmarket transaction.
Some Kirkland shareholders had said on Wednesday that they wanted the company to resume talks with the two entities, arguing that it was too hasty in rejecting their bid.
Shareholders also want Kirkland to disclose more details on the joint bid from Gold Fields and Silver Standard so that they can weigh it against the company’s proposed C$1 billion takeover offer for Newmarket Gold.
The Newmarket Gold transaction is somewhat of an outlier as gold mining executives say the rising price of bullion has made acquisitions costlier for a sector focused on financial discipline.
Results of the shareholder vote on Kirkland Lake’s potential deal to buy Newmarket are due on Nov. 25.
Kirkland Lake’s shares were down nearly 4 percent at C$7.65.
($1 = 1.3495 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Anil D’Silva)