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Lihir Gold Ltd.'s shareholders last week finally approved Newcrest Mining Ltd.'s $9.45-billion (U.S.) takeover bid. On Friday, the National Court of Papua New Guinea also stamped its approval on the acquisition, marking the last step needed to close the deal.

Lihir's shares will trade for the last itme on Aug. 30, and in mid-September the company's shareholders will get about 0.12 Newcrest shares and 22.5 cents (Australian) per Lihir share.

Through the deal, Newcrest solidifies its presence as one of the world's top-five largest gold producers, among the likes of Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp.

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The deal comes with some good momentum for Newcrest. On Friday, Lihir posted a first half profit of $142-million (U.S.), in line with analyst estimates after accounting for some one-time costs associated with the merger. The firm also has $267-million in cash on hand with no debt, according to RBC Capital Markets.

Lihir currently operates gold mines in Papua New Guinea, Ivory Coast and Australia. The merged company is expected to produce 2.8 million ounces of gold a year.

Until early July, Lihir traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but the company delisted because of low trading volume and low Canadian ownership.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

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