UPDATE 5-Goldcorp offers C$2.6 billion to acquire Osisko Mining

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:13pm EST
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* C$5.95/shr cash-and-stock offer represents 15 pct premium

* Goldcorp says bid to remain open until Feb. 19

* Osisko shares up 19.7 percent; Goldcorp shares drop

By Euan Rocha and Allison Martell

TORONTO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc launched an unsolicited cash-and-stock bid to acquire smaller rival Osisko Mining Corp for C$2.6 billion ($2.4 billion) on Monday, in a move to gain control of Osisko's Malartic gold mine in Quebec.

The bid is the Canadian gold sector's first major attempt at a merger and acquisition deal in nearly a year. Miners stung by a 25 percent drop in the price of gold over the last 12 months have focused on cutting costs and slowing work on growth projects.

The acquisition of the large, low-grade Malartic deposit would boost Goldcorp's proven and probable reserves by some 10 million ounces, but it would also present perils.

"Given the low grade of the reserves, the Osisko assets will be relatively susceptible to any further weakness in the gold price, though the Canadian dollar will help protect the domestic mining industry," JPMorgan analyst John Bridges said in a note to clients.

The Canadian dollar hit a four-year low against the U.S. dollar last week, after data showed Canada unexpectedly shed jobs last month. A weak Canadian dollar typically helps miners that have assets within Canada as most of their costs are denominated in Canadian dollars, while gold sales are in U.S. dollars.   Continued...