Barrick, Acacia battle it out again

Thursday July 11 2019

 

By The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Plans by Barrick Gold to acquire the minority shares in Acacia Mining have taken a new turn with Tanzania’s largest gold miner indicating that its value was more than the offer put forward by its majority shareholder.

This follows a review by an independent consultant SRK Consulting which was published yesterday.

“Acacia is worth 271 pence per share under a ‘preferred-value’ scenario, with a range of 203 pence to 281 pence per share under low- and high-value scenarios,” Acacia said in a statement posted on its website.

On May 21, this year, Barrick had offered 0.153 of its own shares to acquire the 36.1 per cent of Acacia it does not already own.

That equates to about 193 pence per share, based on Monday’s closing prices, valuing the company at about $990 million (794.8 million pounds) compared with $787 million when it first proposed the deal was made.

“271 pence is the absolute minimum the minorities will accept,” a minority shareholder in Acacia was quoted by Reuters yesterday.

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“Barrick should go for that and just get this done ... there is material upside for Barrick. The quicker both sides can get on and deliver that, the better,” the shareholder added.

“We are clear that to date Barrick has not made a firm offer for the remaining shares in Acacia it does not currently own but rather a valuation.”

“In order to allow Barrick more time to review the CPR and facilitate further engagement with Acacia on the terms of the proposal, Barrick has requested that the Company seek an extension to the negotiation deadline to July 19 this year,” Acacia’s statement said.

The statement added that Acacia’s board continues to believe that, subject to the price offered being fair and commanding the necessary support from shareholders, Barrick acquiring the remaining shares in Acacia it does not currently own would be an attractive solution for key stakeholders. “In light of this request, an extension has been granted by the Panel, and in accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, Barrick is required, by not later than 5.00pm on 19 July 2019.”

Acacia said Barrick should either announce a firm intention to make an offer in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code, or announce that they do not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies.

The firm added that the deadline may be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

Acacia also said it preferred that the outcome remains the achievement of a negotiated settlement of its disputes with the Government of Tanzania (however negotiated or achieved).

This includes a settlement that would allow for the lifting of the export ban and resumption of full operations at Bulyanhulu, whilst continuing to operates at North Mara and Buzwagi in the ordinary course. “Acacia’s desire for a negotiated settlement is part of the Company’s long-term commitment to support Tanzania, its people and the mining industry going forward,” the statement noted.

“In this regard, in the event that the Transaction Committee of the board was in a position to recommend, in due course, that the Acacia Minority Shareholders vote in favour of a Barrick offer, Acacia would seek to discuss appropriate steps for a stay of the arbitration with the GoT and the Arbitration Tribunal.”

On Tuesday, Barrick issued a statement saying has continued to discuss the proposal to acquire all of the Acacia shares it does not already own through a share for share exchange of 0.153 Barrick shares for each ordinary share of 10 pence each in Acacia.

Barrick also said is currently reviewing the independent evaluation report against its own due diligence study of Acacia’s assets.