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27.04.2004 Business & Finance

AngloGold completes takeover of Ghana's Ashanti

By Reuters

JOHANNESBURG, April 26 (Reuters) - South Africa's AngloGold Ltd (ANGJ.J) said on Monday it had completed the roughly $1.3 billion takeover of Ghana's Ashanti Goldfields (AGC.GH), creating a contender for the rank of world's leading gold producer.

Shares in the merged company, to be named AngloGold Ashanti, will start trading in New York (NYSE:AU) later on Monday and on the Johannesburg and Ghana stock exchanges on Wednesday, a statement said.

AngloGold is the world's second biggest gold producer, but the link-up will forge a firm with around 7.3 million ounces of annual output, rivalling U.S. Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM - News) for the top rank in the sector. AngloGold won a fierce five-month bidding battle with smaller London-based Randgold Resources (London:RRS.L; NasdaqNM:GOLD) for Ashanti, bidding 29 AngloGold shares for every 100 Ashanti shares.

The value of the deal has fluctuated with share prices and exchange rates, but as of Monday afternoon at an AngloGold share price of 225.90 rand, it was worth $1.27 billion.

AngloGold shares in Johannesburg have shed 30 percent from a peak of 319 rand in January as the gold price has come off highs and the rand has strengthened, pressuring profits. AngloGold's offer included plans to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into developing Ghana's prized Obuasi mine.

Ghana's high court approved the deal on Friday, and the transaction was lodged with the country's Registrar of Companies on Monday.

AngloGold, the biggest South African-based gold miner, is 54.5 percent-owned by diversified miner Anglo American ).

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