Saturn Resources (Bidco), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETC Holdings (Mauritius), has reached an agreement to acquire East Africa-focused Shanta Gold for around £141.95m.

As agreed, Bidco will buy the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Shanta not already owned by any member of the Bidco Group via an all-cash offer.

The consideration of 13.5 pence per Shanta Share represents a premium of around 6.72% to the closing price of 12.65 pence on 19 December 2023.

In a statement, Shanta Gold said that the Independent Shanta Directors consider the terms of the acquisition to be fair and reasonable, and plan to recommend the Voting Scheme Shareholders to vote in favour of the transaction at the general meeting.

Shanta chairman Tony Durrant said: “Shanta has successfully brought two mines into production since 2013 and has an exciting development project in West Kenya.

“Whilst the Independent Shanta Directors have confidence in Shanta’s ability to deliver on its business plan and to continue to deliver strong results and growth in the future, this is an all-cash offer at a premium to the current price when the gold price is close to an all-time high.

“As such it provides an exit opportunity in cash for all shareholders taking into account the current gold price as well as the operational and other risks inherent in the business.”

Bidco and ETC Holdings director Ketan Patel said: “As part of ETC Holdings, Shanta will benefit from the experience and connections of ETC Holdings and ETG in East Africa and as a result, have additional support during the currently heightened levels of macro-instability.”

The acquisition is expected to complete in the first half of 2024, subject to several conditions including necessary regulatory and shareholders approvals among others.