London-based hedge fund Odey Asset Management said today that it will accept Barrick Gold’s final offer to buy Acacia Mining after months of opposition to the deal.
The news came three days after Canadian gold miner Barrick reached an agreement to buy the remaining shares in London-listed Tanzanian miner Acacia after it increased its offer.
Odey, owned by pro-Brexit financier Crispin Odey, had attacked Barrick’s original price as too low. Fellow minority shareholders Legal & General and Fidelity also criticised the offer.
Despite Odey only owning 2.3 per cent of Acacia, the hedge fund’s opposition could have been enough to derail the deal completely.
But Barrick has now cleared a major hurdle that could see it soon own Acacia entirely. Acacia was once a unit of Barrick, which currently holds 64 per cent of its stock.
Barrick’s complete ownership of Acacia could put to an end a long-running tax dispute the latter has with Tanzania, where it runs three mines.
The Tanzanian government accused Acacia of owing $190bn (£152m) in unpaid tax in July 2017, saying it had understated exports. It has since lowered the amount to $300m with other conditions attached.
In May this year Tanzania said it would only work with Barrick Gold to resolve issues that had seen the country limit Acacia’s operations.
In June, Barrick said as part of a wider statement that the relationship between Acacia and the government meant it was “no longer possible for Acacia to continue to function as an independent public company”.
In response the London and Tanzania-based miner said it “strongly disagrees” with a “number” of statements made by Barrick, but would not specify which ones.