Blyvoor sale agreement to lapse; Aurora to consider making new offer
01 April 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa. 1 April 2010. DRDGOLD Limited (JSE: DRD; Nasdaq: DROOY) announced today that, by mutual agreement, it and Aurora Empowerment Systems Limited (Aurora) are withdrawing from the December 2009 agreement between them, in terms of which Aurora would acquire 60% of DRDGOLD'S 74%-held subsidiary, Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mining Company Limited.
DRDGOLD has instead agreed to extend to Aurora a month's exclusivity for the month of April, during which time Aurora may conduct a due diligence study to determine its valuation of Blyvoor in order to decide, with due consideration also to its funding abilities, whether it wishes to make an alternative offer in respect of Blyvoor.
During the period of exclusivity, DRDGOLD will not solicit any offers from third parties, nor accept any offers for Blyvoor unless Aurora has been given an opportunity to match the offer and has declined.
DRDGOLD Chief Executive Officer Niël Pretorius and Aurora MD Zondwa Mandela have undertaken to continue to seek opportunities to develop a relationship of support and co-operation between the two companies.
In terms of the Blyvoor agreement between DRDGOLD and Aurora announced on 2 December 2009, Aurora undertook:
- to acquire 60% of Blyvoor for a cash consideration of R295 million; and
- to provide an R80 million loan facility to Blyvoor over a six-month period.
On 17 March 2010, DRDGOLD disclosed that Blyvoor, under judicial management since 12 November 2010 following several months of increasing operating and financial duress, had made a net profit of R33.6 million and generated net cash flows after capital expenditure of R27.5 million between the months of November 2009 and January 2010.
This followed submissions by Blyvoor to the judicial managers in support of its view that the judicial management order granted by the High Court of South Africa should be lifted.
South Africa & North America
James Duncan, Russell & Associates
+27 11 880 3924 (office)
+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)
Investor and Media Relations
Phil Dexter, St James's Corporate Services
+44 20 7499 3916 (office)
+44 779 863 4398 (mobile)
Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others, adverse changes or uncertainties in general economic conditions in the markets we serve, a drop in the gold price, a continuing strengthening of the rand against the dollar, regulatory developments adverse to DRDGOLD or difficulties in maintaining necessary licences or other governmental approvals, changes in DRDGOLD's competitive position, changes in business strategy, any major disruption in production at key facilities or adverse changes in foreign exchange rates and various other factors.
These risks include, without limitation, those described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" included in our annual report for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2009, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 27 November 2009 on Form 20-F. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this report or to the occurrence of unanticipated events.