UK hedge fund, Odey, to reject Barrick first and final offer for shares in Acacia Mining

THERE was a further sign that opposition is growing to Barrick Gold’s offer for shares it doesn’t already own in Acacia Mining after Odey Asset Management announced it would not accept a first and final offer for its stake.

“Odey is not rejecting any specific level of firm offer,” the firm, a top 10 shareholder in Acacia, told Reuters in an e-mailed statement. “Rather, Odey is preemptively committing to reject a specific style of opening firm offer,” it said.

A firm offer of this nature by Barrick would impair the ability of Acacia’s board to give a “robust response” that can effect any change, the fund said. Odey owns 1.94% of Acacia shares, said Reuters citing Refinitiv.

Fidelity International, the third-largest minority shareholder in Acacia and Barrick’s second-biggest investor, told Reuters last month that rejecting the bid was a “no brainer” and showed a lack of judgment on Barrick’s part.

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

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, said the newspaper in a June 7 report. Odey owns 1.62% of Acacia, said the Financial Times.

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.