Barrick favours taking back control of Acacia Mining – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – October 23, 2018)

Barrick Gold Corp. favors taking back control of its separately listed Tanzanian assets after completing its takeover of Africa-focused rival Randgold Resources Ltd., according to people familiar with the situation.

Barrick spun off those assets in 2010 into a company now called Acacia Mining Plc. That unit — listed in London but majority owned by Barrick — has been dogged by operational setbacks and is locked in a dispute with Tanzania’s government. The dispute would need to be resolved before any decision is made.

Acacia shares soared as much as 11 per cent in London before falling back to close up 7.7 per cent. The stock has declined 70 per cent in the past two years. Barrick, which was up 1.6 per cent as of 12:29 p.m. in Toronto, has gained 29 per cent since the merger was announced.

Once the merger with Randgold is complete, the enlarged group will look for solutions for Acacia, with Barrick favoring taking full ownership of the unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private. Barrick currently owns 64 per cent of Acacia. A 36 per cent stake in the company would be valued at about US$303 million, based on the closing price in London Tuesday.

Still, no final decision has been made, the people said. It’s also not clear whether all three of Acacia’s Tanzanian gold mines will be brought back into Barrick, one of the people said.

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