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Randgold Resources (RRS)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 24 October, 2003

Randgold Resources

Merger Update

Randgold Resources Ld
24 October 2003


RANDGOLD RESOURCES ANNOUNCES INCREASED MERGER OFFER


London, 24 October 2003



The Board of Randgold (LSE: RRS) (NASDAQ: GOLD) announces that it has today
submitted an increased merger offer (the 'Increased Merger Offer') to the Board
of Ashanti.  The Increased Merger Offer, which would be effected by way of a
scheme of arrangement under section 231 of the Ghana Companies Code, is subject
to certain preconditions, including, inter alia, the support of the Government
of Ghana in its capacity as regulator, Ashanti Shareholder and holder of the
Golden Share.  If completed, the Merger will create a major, independent,
pan-African focused gold business.  Randgold believes that the Enlarged Business
will be a low cost gold producer with critical mass and significant growth
potential and will be self-financing from completion of the Merger.



Under the terms of the Increased Merger Offer, each holder of an Ashanti Share
and each holder of an Ashanti GDS will be entitled to elect to receive either:



  -   0.56 Randgold Shares; or

  -   0.56 Randgold ADRs; or

  -   56 Randgold GhDRs.



Based on the Closing Price of Randgold ADRs on NASDAQ on 23 October 2003, (the
Last Practicable Date), of US$22.45, the Increased Merger Offer values each
Ashanti Share (or Ashanti GDS) at approximately US$12.57 and values the fully
diluted ordinary share capital of Ashanti at approximately US$1.7 billion.



The Increased Merger Offer equates to approximately:

*  a premium of 10.3 per cent. to the Closing Price of Ashanti GDSs on 23
October 2003 (the Last Practicable Date); and

*  a premium of 12.3 per cent. to the current value of  AngloGold's proposed
improved final offer announced on 14 October 2003.



On completion of the Merger, existing Randgold Shareholders will own
approximately 27.4 per cent. and existing Ashanti Shareholders will own
approximately 72.6 per cent. of the Enlarged Business, respectively.



Randgold believes that the Increased Merger Offer represents a genuine and
attractive alternative to the improved final offer proposed by AngloGold. There
can be no guarantee that an agreement between Randgold and Ashanti will be
reached or that the Merger will be effected.  Further announcements will be made
in due course, as appropriate.







Enquiries:



Randgold Resources Limited
Chief Executive
Dr Mark Bristow         +44 (0) 779 775 2288
Financial Director
Roger Williams          +44 (0) 779 771 9660



Randgold Investor and Media Relations
Kathy du Plessis        +27 11 728 4701
                        Cell: +27 (0) 83 266 5847
                        randgoldresources@dpapr.com



HSBC Bank plc
Adrian Coates
Tim Morgan-Wynne
Jan Sanders             +44 (0) 20 7991 8888



----------------------------------------

CONFERENCE CALL - FRIDAY 24 OCTOBER 2003

----------------------------------------

An international teleconference and live audio web cast on the increased offer
will be hosted by Randgold Resources CEO Dr Mark Bristow



DATE:  Friday 24 October 2003
TIME:  16:00 UK * 11:00 Eastern (USA/Canada)
       * 08:00 Western (USA/Canada) * 15:00 Ghana
       * 17:00 Central Europe/South Africa
Access the LIVE AUDIO WEB CAST on our website at www.randgoldresources.com



PROCEDURE - CONFERENCE CALL:

* Call into the conference yourself and quote 'Randgold Resources' to access the
conference. (See the numbers below).

* If you choose the option of us calling you, please ensure that your specified
line is free 5-7 minutes prior to the conference call.

* A replay of the call will be available two hours after the teleconference and
will be accessible for 72 hours (See the numbers below).  The recorded audio web
cast will also be available on the company website from two hours after the
call.



-------------------------------------------------------

DIAL-IN NUMBERS  -  LIVE CALL - Access code 'RANDGOLD RESOURCES'
UK  -  Toll-free 0800 917 7042
USA  -  Toll 1-412 858 4600, Toll-free 1-800 860 2442
CANADA  -  Toll-free 1-866 802 2443
SOUTH AFRICA  -  Toll  011 535 3600, Toll-free  0800 200 648
GHANA  -  Toll +27 11 535 3600, Toll + 41 916 105 600
EUROPE & OTHER  -  Toll + 41 916 105 600, Toll-free + 800 246 78 700
AUSTRALIA  -  Toll-free 1-800 350 100



-------------------------------------------------------

PLAYBACK  -  replay available 2 hours after the call, for 72 hours.  Access Code
#2054
UK, EUROPE & OTHER  -  + 41 91 612 4330 (Switzerland)
USA & CANADA  -  1 412 858 1440
SOUTH AFRICA  -  011 305 2030



NOTE: the recorded audio web cast will also be available on the company's
website from 2 hours after the call has ended.



------------------------------------------------------

OPTION  -  WE CALL YOU

If you wish us to call you for the conference call, please send your details to
randgoldresources@dpapr.com or by fax to +27(11)728-2547



For any queries contact Kathy du Plessis on +27(0)11 728-4701 or +27(0)83 266
5847.



-----------------------------------------------------

Sources and Bases:



1.  The fully diluted ordinary share capital of Ashanti has been sourced from
Ashanti's 2002 Annual Report.

2.  Share price information has been sourced from Bloomberg.

3.  The current value of AngloGold's proposed improved final offer announced on
14 October 2003 is calculated by multiplying the fully diluted number of shares
in AngloGold which would be issued to Ashanti Shareholders pursuant to the terms
of the proposed merger announced on 14 October 2003 by the Closing Price of
AngloGold American Depository Shares on the New York Stock Exchange on the Last
Practicable Date.

4.  The statement 'Randgold Shareholders would own approximately 27.4 per cent.
of the Enlarged Business' is calculated by dividing the existing issued share
capital of Randgold by the pro-forma number of Randgold Shares which will be in
issue after completion of the Merger.

5.  The statement 'existing Ashanti Shareholders would own approximately 72.6
per cent. of the Enlarged Business' is calculated by dividing the number of
Randgold Shares which will be issued to Ashanti Shareholders under the Increased
Merger Offer by the pro-forma number of Randgold Shares which will be in issue
after completion of the Merger.





HSBC Bank plc, which is regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial
Services Authority, is acting for Randgold, and no-one else in connection with
the matters referred to in this announcement and will not be responsible to any
person other than Randgold for providing the protections afforded to customers
of HSBC Bank plc, or for advising any such person on the contents of this
announcement or any transaction referred to in this announcement.



This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an
offer to buy nor shall there be any sale or distribution of securities in any
jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or distribution is not permitted.



DISCLAIMER: The contents of this announcement, which has not been approved by
Ashanti, has been approved by and are the sole responsibility of the Board of
Randgold.  Statements made in this release with respect to Randgold's current
plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not
historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of
Randgold, Ashanti and the Enlarged Business.  These statements are based on
assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available.
Randgold cautions you that a number of important risks and uncertainties could
cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the
forward-looking statements, and therefore you should not place undue reliance on
them.  The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, risks
associated with: fluctuations in the market price of gold, gold production at
Morila and Obuasi, estimates of reserves and mine life, future growth potential
and capital investment, and the integration of Randgold's and Ashanti's
businesses.  For a discussion of important factors and risks involved in the
companies' businesses, refer to Randgold's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the
year ended 31 December 2002, which was filed with the US Securities and Exchange
Commission on 27 June 2003, and Ashanti's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the
year ended 31 December 2002, which was filed with the SEC on 17 June 2003, and
any other document in respect of the proposed Merger which may be furnished to
or filed with the SEC by Randgold or Ashanti.



In the event that Randgold and Ashanti enter into an agreement regarding the
proposed Merger, Randgold will furnish to, or otherwise file with, the SEC a
scheme document/prospectus.  In the event a transaction is entered into,
investors and security holders are urged to carefully read the scheme document/
prospectus regarding the Merger when it becomes available because it will
contain important information.  In the event a transaction is entered into,
investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the scheme document/
prospectus (when it becomes available) and other documents containing
information about Randgold and Ashanti, without charge, at the SEC's website at
www.sec.gov.  Copies of the scheme document/prospectus (when it becomes
available) would also be obtainable free of charge by directing a request to
Randgold Resources Limited, La Motte Chambers, La Motte Street, St. Helier,
Jersey JE1 1BJ, Channel Islands, Attn: David Haddon, Group Secretary, telephone
+ 44 (0) 1534 735 333, fax +44 (0) 1534 735 444.



Randgold does not undertake any obligation to update any forward looking
statements discussed in this announcement, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.





APPENDIX I



Definitions



'AngloGold'           AngloGold Limited, a company
                      incorporated under the laws of
                      South Africa;



'Ashanti'               Ashanti Goldfields Company
                        Limited, a publicly listed
                        company registered under the
                        laws of the Republic of Ghana;



'Ashanti GDS'           the Global Depository Securities
                        of Ashanti, listed on the New
                        York Stock Exchange;



'Ashanti Shareholders'  the holders of Ashanti Shares or
                        Ashanti GDSs;



'Ashanti Shares'        the ordinary shares of no par
                        value in the capital of Ashanti;



'Board'                 the board of directors of
                        Randgold or Ashanti, as the
                        context requires;



'Closing Price'         the closing middle market price
                        of the relevant security;



'Enlarged Business'     Randgold, as enlarged by the
                        proposed combination with
                        Ashanti;



'Golden Share'          the one special rights redeemable
                        preference share of no par value
                        in the share capital of Ashanti
                        owned by the Government of Ghana;



'Last Practicable Date' 23 October 2003, the last trading
                        day prior to the date of this
                        announcement;



'London Stock Exchange' London Stock Exchange plc;

or 'LSE'



'Lonmin'                Lonmin plc;



'Merger'                the proposed merger of Randgold
                        and Ashanti;



'NASDAQ'                the NASDAQ National Market;



'Randgold'              Randgold Resources Limited, a
                        company registered under the laws
                        of Jersey;



'Randgold ADRs'         the Randgold American Depository
                        Receipts currently listed on
                        NASDAQ;



'Randgold GhDRs'        the proposed Ghanaian Depository
                        Receipts of Randgold, 100 of
                        which will represent one Randgold
                        Share;



'Randgold Shareholders' the holders of Randgold Shares;



'Randgold Shares'       the ordinary shares of 10 US
                        cents each in the capital of
                        Randgold;



'US' or 'United States' the United States of America, its
                        territories and possessions, any
                        state of the United States of
                        America and the District of
                        Columbia, and all other areas
                        subject to its jurisdiction.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange