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Acacia takes aim at biggest shareholder Barrick

Acacia Mining hit out at its main shareholder Barrick Gold t..

Acacia Mining hit out at its main shareholder Barrick Gold this morning, as a takeover offer from Barrick looms.

The London and Tanzania-based miner said it “strongly disagrees” with a “number” of statements made by Barrick last night.

Read more:Acacia shareholder Odey will vote against Barrick bid if it stays unchanged

The firm was also surprised by the timing. It came after Acacia yesterday agreed to give Barrick more time to make a firm takeover offer.

In May Barrick approached Acacias board with an indicative offer which values the miner at $887.8m (£705m).

Barrick, which already owns around 64 per cent of Acacia, proposed to buy out the minority shareholders.

However when the deadline to make a firm offer arrived yesterday, Acacia said it had agreed to extend until 9 July.

It comes against the backdrop of a tax dispute with the Tanzanian government. The regime of President John Magufuli has claimed that Acacia under-reported the level of gold in its exports for decades.

It said Acacia owes $190bn – or around four times Tanzanias annual GDP – in back taxes.

Barrick said in May that the administration now refuses to speak to Acacia directly.

“In Barricks view, it is now clear that the relationship of Acacia with the GoT has been so damaged … that it is no longer possible for Acacia to continue to function as an independent public company,” it said in a statement yesterday.

Acacia did not reveal which of yesterdays statements it took specific issue with.

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