Randgold & Exploration CEO Marais Steyn concedes that there were periods over the past five years when he doubted that the company would ever find its way back onto the JSE. Now he is celebrating for the R&E minorities.
“It was bad enough that billions of rands were misappropriated from R&E shareholders but I really felt for the smaller investors, many of them pensioners, who had their funds tied up for five long years while the company was suspended”, said Marais.
“Now they will get a significant distribution and be able to trade their shares on the open market”.
The opening bell on Friday 4 June 2010 will signal the return of R&E (abbreviated name “Randgold” and share code “RNG”) to the JSE a week after shareholders approved a R950 million settlement with JCI Limited.
Marais and his team have already recovered R218 million from other liquidated estates and settlements. This includes R41 million from the estate of Brett Kebble who masterminded the theft of assets worth billions from R&E.
Assuming the settlement agreement is also approved by JCI shareholders at their meeting on 4 June 2010 and depending on share prices on the distribution date of 5 July 2010, about R1 billion (about R14 a R&E share) will be distributed to R&E shareholders, leaving just over R500 million (about R7 a share) in the company.
“The further recovery of misappropriated assets remains a high priority,” said Steyn. “We have a number of large claims against former executives and service providers during the Kebble era. We will carefully balance between investing in litigation and preserving and growing the current asset base.”
The company holds a number of prospecting rights which could be developed and a 85.21% interest in Free Development and Investment Corporation.
“Through all the trial and tribulations we managed to increase the NAV to about R20 a share after the company was suspended in August 2005 at R8.90 a share. The distribution will give shareholders something to smile about but it would be great if we could do something special with the balance of the funds entrusted to us. We’ll consult closely with shareholders on our investment strategy, he said.
Media Statement issued on behalf of Randgold & Exploration Company Limited by Brian Gibson (083 253 5988)
About Randgold & Exploration Company Limited (R&E)
R&E is an investment holding company with assets in the mining industry. R&E was incorporated in South Africa as a public company on 29 September 1992 to take over the gold interests of Rand Mines Limited, which was South Africa’s oldest mining house.
On 1 August 2005 R&E was suspended on the JSE as a result of not being able to produce audited financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2004.
R&E was not able to meet the JSE reporting requirements because it had been the victim of widespread frauds and thefts of its assets in the period 1999 to 2005, which resulted in the company being stripped of the majority of its assets.
R&E then embarked on a process of attempting to recover damages in respect of the alleged misappropriation of its assets.
Following the publication of audited financial results for 2007, 2008 and 2009, the JSE approved the relisting of R&E effective 4 June 2004.