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Ashanti Goldfields Co. (ASL) Message Board

  • goldfits goldfits Feb 15, 2000 11:22 AM Flag

    Update on negotiations

    DJ Ghana's Ashanti Meets Lenders, Govt To Forge

    ACCRA, Ghana (Dow Jones)--Ghana's Ashanti Goldfields
    Company Ltd. (ASL) is in negotiations with the
    government, creditor banks and a group of minority
    shareholders in Accra Tuesday, in an attempt to resolve
    dissension within the company, sources familiar with the
    affair have said.

    The talks come in the wake of
    a court case victory by a group of minority
    shareholders against Ashanti, giving them the right to hold an
    Extraordinary General Meeting. They plan to vote in a new board
    of directors at the EGM and have the declared
    support of the Ghanaian government. The government of
    Ghana holds a 20% stake in Ashanti.

    negotiated arrangement between the two sides, however, could
    lead to the cancellation of the EGM.

    A deal
    between the minority shareholders and the government on
    the one hand, and Ashanti executives on the other, is
    expected by the end of the day, said a well-placed source.
    The deal, he said, would involve the removal of a
    small number of board members within days and the
    removal of most other directors at an annual general
    meeting to be held April 26.

    Ashanti, said a
    source, is pushing for the appointment as directors of
    Chester Crocker, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of
    State for African Affairs under President Reagan, and
    Frank Savage, a U.S. banker. He also said that the
    company has the agreement of the government and the
    minority shareholders that Chief Executive Sam Jonah and
    Chief Operating Officer Trevor Schultz will remain in
    their posts. Creditor banks are also looking to have
    one of their representatives on the board.

    "The board will be completely different. Only about
    five people from the old board will stay," one source
    said Monday evening. Another key source said the
    creditor banks had agreed with the minority shareholders
    that Ashanti "needs a strong, independent board".

    Dow Jones Newswires has been told the five creditor
    banks at the talks are: Barclays Capital, Chase
    Manhattan Bank, C.S. First Boston, Goldman Sachs and Credit
    Suisse Financial Products.

    representatives have been assuring the five creditor banks that a
    nationalization of Ashanti is not on the cards, said a source. He
    said the banks became concerned about this following a
    report in the U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph last week, which
    referred to "the threat of the nationalization of its
    (i.e. Ashanti's) Ghanaian assets".

    talks took place Monday, involving Ashanti, creditor
    banks, the minority shareholders and the government, a
    source said. He said the meeting was coordinated by the
    vice-president of Ghana, John Atta Mills.

    Now, however,
    the two broad camps in the negotiations are
    apparently communicating indirectly, with the creditor banks
    acting as middlemen.

    An official announcement on
    the outcome of the negotiations is expected by end


    10:06 AM

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