Barrick Gold, one of the world’s largest gold miners, is looking at a hostile takeover of rivals Newmont Mining. The aggressive move from Barrick would see them buy Newmont in an all-share deal for $17.8 billion.

This is not the first time that Barrick has tried to buy Newmont out, with several attempts in the past two decades – the most recent one failing in 2014. The move gives ‘market’ valuation for Newmont, though some investors have pointed out that this is 8% below the closing share price last Friday.

John Thornton, Executive Chairman of Barrick Gold, wrote directly to Newmont Mining’s Board of Directors, saying: “There is no other transaction in our industry that can create better value for shareholders and other stakeholders than a business combination between Newmont and Barrick.

“The market reaction to date to your Goldcorp transaction suggests that investors do not endorse your rationale.”

The last line is a reference to the purchase of Goldcorp that Newmont Mining announced last month. Were Newmont to be bought out then they would no longer be able to negotiate with Goldcorp, instead requiring Barrick Gold to make an entirely new bid for Goldcorp, and given the negative reaction of investors and analysts, it’s not likely that Barrick Gold would seek to continue to buy Goldcorp out.

Barrick only recently acquired Randgold, buying out the London-based firm last September in an $18.3 billion deal. This new move would be a big push towards Barrick Gold becoming the world’s largest gold miner – a life goal of founder Peter Munk – and it could bring an end to a rough period for the company following asset sales to tackle debts.

In a stern response to Barrick Gold’s approach and the letter from John Thornton, Newmont’s CEO Gary Goldberg labelled the approach as “a desperate and bizarre attempt to muddle up our deal” and stated his belief that the behaviour would not appeal to investors. Goldberg also told Bloomberg TV that Newmont Mining had considered bidding for Barrick Gold and Randgold before they settled on Goldcorp, but they “couldn’t see the value potential”.

Newmont Mining has said its board will review the deal proposed by Barrick Gold, but insists the deal to merge with Goldcorp is more beneficial to the company that joining Barrick.

Read the official Newmont Mining press statement regarding the proposed takeover.

Read Barrick Gold’s press release about their proposed purchase of Newmont.