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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Endeavor to acquire Semafo in June, creating West Africa’s largest gold producer

M&A WATCH- Endeavor to acquire Semafo in June, creating West Africa’s largest gold producer: Canada’s Endeavour Mining will acquire Toronto-listed gold producer Semafo in a USD 690.7 mn agreement set to be completed in June, Reuters reports. Endeavour shareholders — which is 24.1% owned by the Sawiris family — will own around 70% of the combined company and Semafo shareholders the remainder. The group will be West Africa’s largest gold producer, based in Burkina Faso and Côte D’Ivoire, and one of the biggest 15 worldwide, with an output of 1 mn ounces a year. The acquisition comes just two months after Endeavour ended its bid to takeover Centamin.

Sawiris said earlier in the day that he was looking to up his stake in La Mancha: “I’m increasing my stake in my company because the cost of producing an ounce is much lesser than the gold price itself,” he told Bloomberg TV yesterday. Sawiris is currently in talks with the Egyptian government to acquire a 51% stake in state-owned Shalateen Mining, and has shown interest in bidding in the gold exploration tender, which got underway last week.

Gold has been on the slide since the covid-19 pandemic began to roil the markets, but Sawiris sees gold as king in a crisis: “I believe that when there is crisis, when people are done covering their margin cost, it’s gonna go up,” he said. “I’m still a buyer and I’m still increasing my position.”

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