Agyapa IPO suspended …awaiting corruption risk assessment by OSP

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The Ministry of Finance has said that processes towards the launch Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) have been suspended awaiting the results of a corruption risk assessment by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

The government had planned to launch the IPO in September 2020 to be completed in December 2020 but the OSP last week requested the IPO be suspended due to some outstanding corruption risk assessment of the deal.

In a quick response the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta said his ministry would be law abiding and ensure that all legal ramifications are cleared before the processes are allowed flow: “we will never do anything illegal” he said.

But in letter to from the Ministry of Finance to the OSP cited by the paper, it said the ministry would support the OSP in the execution of its duties to come up with a corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa deal as a result. “Kindly note that this Ministry does not intend to proceed with the IPO ahead of the results of the corruption risk assessment by your Office as you may well be aware.”

Last week, the OSP, in a letter to the Finance Ministry last week, said it would have wished to complete its corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa Royalties Transaction quickly but for the non-submission of the information and documents pending to be submitted by your Ministry. As a result, the OSP urged the Ministry to hold on with the launching of the IPO until his office completes the corruption risk assessment it is currently undertaking.

In an official response to the OSP, the Ministry of Finance has stated that: “By our letter dated 24th September 2020, we furnished your office with the relevant documents pertaining to appointment of the transaction advisors for the Agyapa Royalties project.

Upon receipt of your letter dated 28th of September 2020, whereby you requested additional relevant information, including the opinion of the principal legal advisor to government, this Ministry submitted additional documents as requested by your Office.

“We wish to use this opportunity to clarify the issue of time in the transaction as captured in the document titled ‘Overview of Agyapa Royalties transaction’, you referred to in your 28th September letter. Kindly note that the document was prepared about two months ago by the transaction advisors to update the Minister on the progress of the transaction.

The timing expressed in the document was the intention of the transaction advisors at that time and to launch the IPO by the end of September 2020 to be completed by the end of the year. This was prior to your office’s request for information and production of document.”

The Special Prosecutor had earlier written to Parliament to furnish his office with the necessary documents regarding the deal. Government has said that the agreement is expected to enable the country use a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about US$1 billion to finance infrastructure projects.

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