TORONTO, June 19 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp said on Wednesday that comments by Chief Executive Mark Bristow that he had no intention of discussing a higher buyout offer for the company's African unit with its minority shareholders should not be considered a "no-increase statement."
The comments, made to Bloomberg on Tuesday, addressed pending discussions with minority shareholders of Acacia Mining Plc over Barrick's proposal to offer 0.153 Barrick shares for each Acacia share. [bloom.bg/2Zx5qpq ]
"My job is to sit down in the next few weeks and work through it with the minority shareholders," Bristow said in the phone interview. Asked if those talks would include an offer for a higher indicative price, he said no. "We would have done that already."
On Wednesday Barrick released a statement that said the comments should not be interpreted as a "no-increase statement" as defined by the UK Takeover Code, under which a bidder that says it won't raise its offer cannot revise its offer except in certain circumstances.
"... nothing in the Article should be considered to be a no-increase statement," the company said.
Bristow told Reuters on Tuesday that its proposed offer was "more than fair" and said it would engage with Acacia's board and minority shareholders to win them over. He added that he has "never been one that draws a line in the sand without proper engagement."
Barrick on Tuesday said it had received an extension to the deadline by which it has to make a firm bid to July 9. (Reporting by Nichola Saminather Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)