(Reuters) – Newmont Mining Corp said on Sunday that Barrick Gold Corp, owner of a tiny fraction of the U.S. mining company, intends to propose lowering the ownership threshold needed to call a meeting of Newmont shareholders.
Newmont said it received notice of intent from a unit of Barrick for two shareholder proposals for consideration at Newmont’s next annual meeting of stockholders.
The proposals would be to lower the ownership threshold necessary to call shareholder meetings to 15 percent from the current 25 percent, and to repeal all bylaw amendments implemented since Oct. 24, Newmont said in a statement.
If successful, the proposals would make it easier for shareholders to call a vote to oust Newmont’s board, and come as further sign that Barrick could be moving ahead with preparations for a hostile bid for Newmont.
Barrick, already the world’s largest gold miner, said on Friday it considered making an all-stock bid for Newmont, a deal that would create a monolith in the global gold sector.
Barrick currently holds 1,000 out of Newmont’s roughly 535 million outstanding shares, a spokesman for Newmont said in an email.
Barrick did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Last month, Newmont said it would buy smaller rival Goldcorp Inc, for $10 billion, creating the world’s biggest gold producer in the face of dwindling easy-to-find reserves of the precious metal.
In its announcement of Barrick’s proposals, Newmont said the Goldcorp deal represents the best opportunity to create value for its shareholders.
Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis