07/23/2013 05:51 EDT | Updated 09/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Barrick Gold to sell Barrick Energy for $455M as it looks to focus its business

TORONTO - Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) said Tuesday it has signed a deal to sell its subsidiary, Barrick Energy, in a series of deals worth a total of $455 million.

The deals include the sale of assets to Venturion Oil Ltd. for $59 million and an agreement with Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSX:WCP) for another group of assets for $174 million.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) has also agreed to pay $173 million a gross overriding royalty on certain lands valued at about $50 million for Barrick Energy and its remaining assets.

The Toronto-based gold miner said it expects to record a loss of about $500 million in the second quarter, including about $90 million in goodwill, in connection with the sales.

"As part of its disciplined capital allocation framework, Barrick is actively pursuing opportunities to optimize its portfolio, including through opportunities to divest certain non-core assets," the company said in a statement.

The transactions are expected to close by the end of the month.

Canadian Natural said the production, before royalties, from the working interests acquired, was approximately 4,200 barrels per day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids and approximately 4.4 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

The assets include properties in the Worsley, Puskwa, Sturgeon Lake, Retlaw and Red Earth areas in Alberta.

"This acquisition further strengthens Canadian Natural's light oil asset and production base in key operating areas and contributes to the light oil balance in the Company's diversified portfolio," Canadian Natural president Steve Laut said.

Barrick has been under pressure this year due to the falling price for gold and rising costs at its operations.

At the company's annual meeting in April, chief executive Jamie Sokalsky said Barrick is focused on producing returns for investors.