UPDATE 4-Barrick, Newmont trade barbs after merger talks implode

Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:40pm EDT
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* Hostile bid for Newmont seen as unlikely

* Sources says reporting structure in new entity was an issue

* Failed talks throw spotlight on Barrick CEO Sokalsky's future

* Newmont and Barrick shares slide on the NYSE (Recasts with comments from both companies, updates stocks)

By Euan Rocha, Allison Martell and Soyoung Kim

TORONTO/NEW YORK, April 28 (Reuters) - Failed merger talks between Barrick Gold Corp and Newmont Mining Corp descended into acrimony on Monday, with the two large gold miners publicly accusing each other of scuppering a deal favored by many investors.

Barrick, the world's largest gold miner, landed the first blow on Monday, saying it believed a merger would have been in the best interests of shareholders, but that Newmont's board had decided its shareholders' interests were best served by remaining independent.

Newmont, which has remained quiet for the last two weeks as reports around the stalled merger talks swirled, issued a scathing response, slamming its suitor and stating bluntly that negotiations failed due to the lack of a "constructive, mutually respectful" dialogue.

Shortly after midday, Barrick issued a rebuttal stating the talks failed after Newmont attempted to renege on key terms around a deal that had been already hammered out. Newmont responded with yet another release saying it did not renege on a deal and strongly disagreed with Barrick's characterization of events.   Continued...