Responding to media speculation, Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:ABX,TSX:ABX) confirmed that it has begun preliminary talks with China National Gold Group Corp. regarding the sale of its majority stake in African Barrick Gold plc (LSE:ABG).
As quoted in the press release:
As noted in Barrick’s 2012 Second Quarter Report, Barrick has adopted a renewed focus on maximizing shareholder value through a disciplined capital allocation program which includes optimizing Barrick’s portfolio of assets and maximizing returns on investment and free cash flow. The preliminary discussions relating to ABG form part of this program. Barrick remains both committed to and confident in ABG, its qualified and experienced management team and its portfolio of world-class assets.
Discussions are at an early stage, and there can be no certainty that these discussions will result in the acquisition of all or part of Barrick’s holding in ABG.