Anglogold drops spin-off, rights offer plans

AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU, LON:AAL) on Monday announced it is scrapping plans to split the company and raise more than $2 billion through a stock sale just one week after the restructuring was first mooted.

Shares in the Johannesburg-based gold miner, the world's number three in terms of ounces produced, recovered some of last week's losses gaining 3% in New York trade on Monday.

The counter dropped sharply on September 10 when investors – chief among them John Paulson, a hedge fund manager who owns 6.6% of the company – balked at Anglogold's plans for a rights issue and spin-off of its international assets into a new London-listed company.

In a statement the company said "there has been broad support for the strategic logic of the restructuring," but that a number of shareholders have expressed concerns about "the quantum of the equity capital raising needed to enable the restructuring":

"Reducing current high debt levels and improving overall financial flexibility remain priorities for AngloGold Ashanti, which will now intensify its focus on value creation opportunities deliverable within its current structure. The company will continue to aggressively identify and implement further operational efficiencies, reduce overhead structures and pursue other initiatives to improve underlying business performance. The company will also accelerate actions to strengthen its balance sheet including debt reduction, portfolio simplification and options to unlock value from its Colombian portfolio."