(Adds details, background)
TORONTO Jan 31 Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) said on
Thursday it is selling its 108 million common shares of Silver
Wheaton Corp (SLW.TO) -- a 48 percent stake -- to underwriters
in a bought deal, at a price of C$14.50 per share.
Gross proceeds to Goldcorp will be C$1.57 billion ($1.57
billion), the gold miner said.
Shares of Silver Wheaton were last at C$15.47 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday, down 4.3 percent.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Goldcorp was
considering a sale of its Silver Wheaton stock, pushing down
Silver Wheaton's share price.
The two companies, both based in Vancouver, British
Columbia, said the secondary offering is scheduled to close on
Silver Wheaton buys silver under contracts with various
mine owners and resells the metal at market prices. Its stock
price surged in 2007, and analysts said earlier this week that
it would make sense for Goldcorp to lock in its gains and
generate cash for its own capital spending plans.
In a statement, Goldcorp said the sale of Silver Wheaton
shares was part of a plan to simplify its corporate structure
and strengthen its balance sheet.
The proceeds will give it financial flexibility as it
builds new mines, Goldcorp said, noting that it expects to
boost gold production by 50 percent over the next five years.
(Reporting by Lynne Olver; Editing by Rob Wilson)