Investment bank, Databank has withdrawn from the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal where Ghana’s gold mineral resources was expected to be mortgaged, for cash, over a period.
The company wrote to the directors of Imara Tara Holdings, one of the foreign firms acting as transactional advisors, to withdraw from the deal.
According to a statement, the decision to pull out of the deal was due to attacks on its reputation by political actors due to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s, association with the firm.
“The Board of Databank, whilst being convinced about the immeasurable benefits to be reaped by the Republic of Ghana from the transaction, is of the view that the tumult generated by the involvement of Databank in the transaction, coupled with insinuations and aspersions cast on the reputation of the company in the lead up to the election, not only grossly compromises the ability to execute such a market-sensitive and novel transaction, but also has a real tendency to severely damage the invaluable business reputation of Databank,” the letter signed by Group CEO of Databank, Kojo Addae-Mensah, emphasized.
It further said the decision though a hard one was necessary because it had to safeguard its integrity.
“It is this deep market knowledge and extensive experience that makes us understand that the potential damage from the fall out of all the negative press regarding Databank’s involvement in the Agyapa transaction, especially the proposed IPO, despite our sterling track record over the years, is incalculable both in the domestic and international financial markets.”
“The reasons expressed above have compelled us to take the hard-decision to formally withdraw our services as your partner and co-transaction advisor on this mandate”, it pointed out.
Brouhaha of the Agyapa
The Agyapa Royalties deal generated so much interest from several quarters because of the alleged controversies of conflict of interest, amongst others.
Some 15 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the umbrella name Alliance of CSOs working on Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance also demanded the immediate suspension of the implementation of the controversial Special Purpose Vehicle, Agyapa Royalties Limited established by government though the Minerals Income Investment Fund.
Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu’s Corruption Risk Assessment on Agyapa deal also raised red flags over the deal, describing the deal as fraught with corruption.