Barrick Gold sweetens offer, Acacia agrees to takeover deal in Tanzania – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 20, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. and Acacia Mining PLC have reached agreement on terms of a takeover deal that could put an end to a geopolitical quagmire that has engulfed both companies for more than two years.

On Friday, Barrick announced plans to acquire the 36.1 per cent of Acacia it doesn’t already own for US$428-million by paying 0.168 of its own stock for each Acacia share.

In 2017, the Tanzanian government accused London-based Acacia of US$200-billion in tax fraud and banned it from exporting gold and copper concentrate. The development crippled production at two of its three mines in the East African country. Tanzania has refused, for the most part, to even engage with Acacia in talks to end the dispute.

Despite Barrick’s insistence that it wouldn’t budge from its original proposal, the Toronto-based miner increased the worth of its offer by 10 per cent. In May, Barrick said it was willing to pay only 0.153 of its shares for each Acacia share, or about 9 per cent below the market value for the company at the time.

“It’s a fair offer and a good bump up,” Peter Geleta, chief executive officer of Acacia, said in an interview on Friday. Shares in Acacia rose by 20 per cent on the London Stock Exchange on Friday to close at 222 pence apiece.

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