Goldcorp CEO May Exit With $6.9 Million in Biggest Gold M&A

(Bloomberg) -- Investors and analysts are still debating whether the biggest gold mining deal ever is good for acquirer Newmont Mining Corp., but the CEO of the target company could end up millions of dollars richer.

David Garofalo is eligible to collect at least $6.9 million, including as much as $4.6 million in severance and $464,000 in pension and benefits if he’s dismissed as chief executive officer of Goldcorp Inc. as a result of the planned merger, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He also holds shares worth about $1.8 million at the offer price.

Newmont will pay a 17 percent premium to the 20-day weighted average share price of Goldcorp in a deal valued at $10 billion, creating the world’s largest gold miner. That would leave Garofalo richer even after the company he ran saw shares tumble by more than a quarter in the 12 months through Friday, the second-worst performer on the BI Global Senior Gold Valuation Peers index.

A coalition of gold investors, spearheaded by Paulson & Co., expressed its frustration with Garofalo’s pay and incentive package, blaming the CEO for the C$3.7 billion ($2.79 billion) decline in the company’s market value since he took the helm.

“Mr. Garofalo has been massively overpaid,” the Shareholders’ Gold Council said in an emailed statement. “The merger with Newmont is only a victory for shareholders in as much as it eliminates another gold company with executive incentives that are grossly misaligned with those of shareholders.”

Garofalo has been the CEO of Goldcorp since 2016. The company reported a worse-than-expected third-quarter loss in October, sending shares to the lowest since 2002 a day later. The Vancouver-based miner, which was once the world’s largest gold producer by market value, fell short of almost every target when it last reported earnings, according to Andrew Cosgrove, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.

“Goldcorp management has not done a good job of managing their mines and I’m happy to see Newmont step in,” Joe Foster, a New York-based portfolio manager for the VanEck International Investors Gold Fund, said in a telephone interview. VanEck owns shares in both companies, according to the latest filings compiled by Bloomberg.

Newmont announced that its Chief Operating Officer Tom Palmer will take the helm once the integration of the two companies is completed.

It’s not clear if Garofalo will assume a new role in the merged company. “I haven’t thought beyond the integration,” he said in a phone interview. “My focus is making sure we have a smooth transition.”

In addition to his severance and benefits, and stake in the miner, Garofalo also has certain equity awards that could vest early and be redeemed for cash if he departs from the firm.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.