Agyapa deal woes deepen: UK FIs urged to review and withdraw from gold royalties deal
Adnan Adams Mohammed
Controversial deal flagged for corruption risks would see Jersey-based Agyapa Royalties Limited floated on the London Stock Exchange
The parent organisation of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Transparency International (TI), has urged the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to make detailed inquiries into the Government of Ghana’s application to list Agyapa Royalties Limited on the London Stock Exchange, and to reject the listing if corruption concerns are not satisfactorily addressed.
Financial Institutions (FIs), banks and lawyers involved in the deal have also been urged to withdraw their engagement.
In a submission to the FCA and forwarded to J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International and law firm White and Case; Transparency International detailed concerns shared by a coalition of almost 30 Ghanaian and international civil society organisations that the deal smacks of corruption.
“There are serious red flags in how this deal was set up. Concerns have been raised by civil society actors around inadequate stakeholder consultation, transparency and the valuation of the deal”, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director of GII said in a press statement issued today, Tuesday, 22 December 2020.
“Other concerns bother on the way transaction advisors became involved in the process and a lack of public oversight over the company at the heart of the deal. It is crucial for Ghana that the western financial institutions and regulators involved in this deal take these concerns seriously. They must not facilitate schemes that may end up plundering Ghana’s mineral resources in the name of investment.”
Agyapa Royalties Limited is a Jersey-based special purpose vehicle that would own almost 76 per cent of the royalties generated from 16 large gold mines in Ghana under a scheme that has caused controversy and political fallout in Ghana. Forty-nine per cent of shares in Agyapa Royalties are to be sold through a listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Following the controversies over the Agyapa deal, the Special Prosecutor at the time, Martin Amidu raised red flags over the risks of money laundering in the deal and possible bid-rigging in the contracting of advisors. Mr Amidu shared his report publicly in November which gave further impetus to the advocacy for a review of the Agyapa Royalties deal.
Transparency International press office