Odey offers to buy Acacia rights in effort to force Barrick’s hand over takeout offer

THERE are more signs that minority shareholders in Acacia Mining are unhappy with the level of offer tabled by Barrick Gold for the company.

According to a report by the Financial Times, UK hedge fund manager, Odey Asset Management has approached Acacia with the idea of buying the rights it holds over any future investment by Barrick in Africa.

The newspaper said it was unclear whether Acacia would be able to sell such rights, but the action may compel Barrick to improve its offer for the UK-listed miner since, in theory, Odey would be able to on-sell the rights to a competitor of Barrick. Odey owns 1.62% of Acacia, said the Financial Times.

On June 3, Fidelity International said it was unhappy with Barrick’s offer. “We are definitely not going to accept the offer,” Alexander Wright, portfolio manager at Fidelity, said in an interview with Reuters republished by BusinessLive.. “At this price it’s a complete no brainer not to accept it,” he said. Barrick’s bid was 50% too low.

Barrick said it may offer 0.153 shares for each ordinary share of Acacia with a total value of $787m ($285m to minority shareholders). Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick, said the offer was fair given the additional risk his company would be taking on.

Fidelity International owns 3.2% of Acacia, said Reuters. It is Acacia’s sixth-biggest investor according to Refinitiv data. It would require 4% of Acacia’s shareholders to block a compulsory sale and 18% to stop a delisting in the case of formal offer, analysts said.

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