Acacia Mining says Barrick Gold offer doesn’t fairly value mining company – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 25, 2019)

Acacia Mining PLC says Barrick Gold Corp.’s takeover proposal undervalues the company, prompting Acacia to push its biggest shareholder to table a “fair” bid.

Last month, Toronto-based Barrick said it was willing to acquire the 36.1 per cent of London-based Acacia that it doesn’t already own for US$285-million in stock. At the time, the proposal was worth roughly 9 per cent less than Acacia’s market value.

Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow told The Globe and Mail that the discounted proposal was justified because of the inherent risk Acacia presents: It operates three gold mines in Tanzania and is currently subject to a gold concentrate export ban in the East African country.

Barrick also expressed skepticism last week about the true value of some of Acacia’s assets, suggesting it may be overestimating grade and underestimating costs at some of its mines.

On Monday Acacia said it “strongly disagrees with Barrick’s view on Acacia’s life of mine plans” and “sees no reasonable basis” for Barrick’s assessment. In 2017, Tanzania under President John Magufuli accused Acacia of US$200-billion in tax fraud and banned the company from exporting gold concentrate.

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