Canada’s Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX)(NYSE:GOLD) is acquiring all outstanding issued shares it doesn’t already own in Acacia Mining (LON:ACA), which gives the gold giant full control of the African miner.
The Tanzanian gold producer’s shares were suspended from
trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market, before being cancelled on
Acacia directors Peter Geleta, Rachel English, Steve Lucas Deborah Gudgeon Alan Ashworth and Adrian Reynolds will resign from the board.
Graham Shuttleworth and Martin Welsh have
joined the board as directors, Barrick said.
Barrick’s original offer, submitted in May, valued Acacia at only $787 million. In
July, the gold giant bowed to pressure from the African gold miner’s
shareholders and submitted a sweetened $1.2 billion-offer.
Including the special dividends, which depend on asset
sales, the fresh offer represented a 60% premium to Acacia’s share price at the
time of the indicative takeover pitch.
As Acacia’s majority shareholder, with a 63.9% stake,
Barrick led discussions over alleged unpaid taxes with the
Tanzanian government, which has refused to deal directly with the local miner.
The parties reached a framework deal in February, which would see Acacia paying
$300 million to settle the tax claims and splitting returns from its operations
50/50 with the country going forward.
Acacia complained about being left out of the negotiations,
but Barrick’s chief executive, Mark Bristow, said it was the only way forward.
“It’s a tragedy,” he said in June. “We’re dealing with a complete breakdown of relationships.”
Acacia was ordered in July to stop using the tailings storage dam at
its North Mara mine due to seepage from the facility.
Three of the company’s employees remain in jail in Tanzania
awaiting charges for alleged corruption.
Barrick, the world’s No. 2 gold miner, is forging ahead with
plans to sell about $1.5 billion in assets by the end of 2020. At the same
time, it’s looking to buy more top-tier gold projects, in Canada and elsewhere,
and invest in copper assets.