Tuesday 9 July 2019 5:00 pm

Deadline extended for Barrick's Acacia bid

Barrick Gold has said it needs more time to firm up its indicative offer for Acacia Mining.

The Canada-based gold miner now has until 19 July to form make a proposal to investors holding the 36.1 per cent of Acacia shares it does not yet own.

Read more: Acacia production bounces after shareholder opposes Barrick takeover

It came as an independent consultancy released a report saying that Acacia is worth considerably more than Barrick’s indicative bid. SRK said its preferred value for Acacia was 271p per share.

Barrick made an indicative bid to take London-listed Acacia private in May, saying it was the best way to solve an ongoing dispute with the Tanzanian government.

Tanzania, where Acacia runs its gold mines, has claimed the company owes $190bn in back taxes.

It alleges that the miner under-reported for decades the amount of gold in its gold-bearing ore.

President John Magufuli has banned Acacia from exporting its ore until it pays the back taxes. He is demanding around four times the country’s annual GDP.

Acacia, which denies the charges, has hit out at Barrick, which is its biggest owner with nearly 64 per cent of shares.

It claims that Barrick froze it out the negotiations. In 2017 John Thornton, Barrick’s executive chair, flew to Tanzania and negotiated directly with the regime.

Meanwhile, Barrick has said that Magufuli’s government refuses to speak to Acacia. It says it has reached a preliminary deal with the country on profit-sharing.

Launching a full takeover for Acacia is the best way to solve the impasse, Barrick has said, as officials would not sign an agreement if Acacia’s management were involved.

Read more: Acacia takes aim at biggest shareholder Barrick

Acacia said today it would discuss putting an arbitration proceeding against Tanzania on hold if Barrick makes a bid which would benefit shareholders. The arbitration is due to start later this month.

Acacia Mining was formed in 2010 when it was spun off from Barrick Gold.