Government appears to be cooking another interesting deal worth US$400 to US$500 million, which will be putting free money into the pockets of some government officials, party hangers-on, friends and relatives of President Akufo-Addo.
A dossier that The Herald has picked upon the transaction being pushed using a company called, Asaase Royalties Limited, reveals that elements in the Akufo-Addo government, are scheming to have the US$500 million money passed through the company incorporated in the US, to be shared among distressed mining firms operating in Ghana, for a mouthwatering fee.
What is strange is that Asaase Royalties Limited is owned by some Ghanaians, some of whom are holding juicy appointments in the Akufo-Addo government.
But Asaase Royalties Limited has been made to look as though, it is on a contract with the government of Ghana to secure US$400 to US$500 million.
However, insiders say the elements are chasing sumptuous percentage fees, which will run into several millions of dollars.
The Herald’s preliminary investigation is showing that, Asaase Royalties Limited, has its registered office on 3rd Floor, 44 Esplanade St Hilier, Jersey, JE49WG. The company is numbered 130211.
This newspaperis scanning through several documents, including some correspondence sent to The Office Of The President on the matter, seeking his approval for the deal to go through.
Portions of one of the documents in the custody of The Herald, had explained that “the government in its quest to monetise the flows from the Gold Mining Sector and raise funds to support its national growth and development agenda, passed The Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018, Act 078 (The MIIF Act) in December 2018”.
It said that “as a result of the passing of the Act, a SPV, Asaase Royalties Limited (Asaase) has been set up andincorporated in Jersey. The SPV will receive 75.6% of the Royalty flows from 12 producing gold mines and 4 under development. From the balance, 20% will go to the Minerals Development Fund, 2.4% to Ghana Revenue Authority as a revenue collection fee and 2% to MIIF as a management fee to cover their cost of managing the funds”.
“Like other Royalty Companies, Asaase’s strategy will be focused on offering funding to gold mining companies for the development of their mines, in exchange for royalties and other revenue related streams. The focus will be on mines at a near development stage and geographical focus will be Ghana and then Africa. Asaase differentiates itself by its focus on only Gold, and its geographical focus on Africa”, the document said.
It added that “as noted above, the government is looking to raise USD400 to USD500 million from the IPO of up to 49% of Asaase. The shares will be listed in the United Kingdom and Ghana”.
The Herald’s information is that, the deal is likely to be put before Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, when he delivers the supplementary budget tomorrow.
The document had stated that “for the IPO to go ahead, there are two major hurdles that have been the cause of the delays that we need to get over”.
Among these is a “Review by Attorney General’s Office and Parliamentary Ratification” explaining that “the amendments to the MIIF Act and related agreements such as the Investment Agreement that secures the royalty flows to Asaase are being reviewed by the Attorney General’s office.
These amendments and agreement needs to be ratified by parliament. Executive approval has been given subject to AG’s review and approval”.
Secondly, Asaase also wants “Renewal of Ratification of Mining Leases” asking that “13 of the 46 mining leases that underpin the Royalties from the gold mines must be renewed. The renewal is awaiting Cabinet Subcommittee approval”.
It said, “once these are renewed, they will need to be attached to the Amendments to the MIIF Act and the related agreements, and be sent to Parliament for ratification”.
“The two issues noted above continue to be the major controllable ricks to the IPO timetable. Given the complex project to get Asaase to market has taken about two years, these issues continue to pose an undesirable upside risk to costs”.
It pointed out that “the further risk resulting from these delays is that it will potentially have an adverse impact on the valuation of the proposed IPO, as it will appear as though the government and its advisors have struggled to bring this transaction to market”, adding “the current market conditions gives us little margin for error. Subject to the conditions of the financial markets, we are looking to list Asaase at the beginning of July. Considering the time needed for Parliamentary ratification, and marketing to investors, these delays remain a major challenge”.
More to come