You are here

Gold reaches House speaker''s office and BBC

Section: Daily Dispatches

10:35p EST Monday, January 10, 2000

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Yesterday GATA Chairman Bill Murphy reported
indications that Ashanti Gold, having been sabotaged by
its own banker, Goldman Sachs, was going to be acquired
by the big gold hedger, Barrick Gold. Today the following
story from the Ghanian Chronicle reached us, and it
reports a scheme by which the Ghanian government
would unseat Ashanti's management to turn the company
over to Barrick.

Please post this as seems useful.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

By Kofi Coomson
Ghanaian Chronicle
January 7, 2000

ACCRA -- The challenges of Africa's sole multinational,
which singularly accounts for over 90 percent of the
market capitalisation of the Ghana Stock Exchange, are
not over and threaten to take a new life from Monday
next week.

On Monday an ex-parte action will be initiated at an
Accra high court by Messrs Ghartey and Ghartey in the
first of a series of what the Government's advisers on
Ashanti themselves describe as a quot;riskyquot; push designed
to toss out the entire AGC board, including Mr. Kwame
Peprah, the Minister of Finance and Board Chairman.

This move is unknown even to AGC (a unique feature of
ex-parte applications), but Chronicle intelligence has
pieced together a series of intercepts and deep throat
confessions which show this planned legal action as the
quickest way to get for the Government what has eluded
them all this time: an emergency general meeting to
launch a bloodbath.

The government's advisers Messrs Jude Kofi Bucknor, 47,
and Ken Ofori-Atta, 41, Chief Executives of Cal Merchant
Bank and Databank Financial Services, respectively,
together with their London quot;counterparty,quot; have already
secured the support of one of the minority

Dr. Michael Martineau, a Swiss businessman with
interests in oil and mining and a bee in his bonnet, has
agreed to act as a bogeyman to take the bull by the
horns and kick off the action as the principal

Available documentary evidence traced to these advisers
show the construction of a super-secret plot to pass
off and hide the government's agenda by cloaking it in
the guise of a shareholder revolt with a demand for an
emergency general meeting to annihilate the entire
management and the Board and to allow a favoured party,
Barrick, a huge Canadian mining multinational, to have

The Government's celebrated Chief Financial Wizard, Mr.
Tsatsu Tsikata, has courted the friendship of the Chief
Executive of Barrick for the President of Ghana, though
they strenuously oppose Lonmin, which holds 33 percent
of the shares and is favoured by the AGC management and
the Board. Addax and Oryx Group have just under 10
percent of Ashanti shares, but according to the reading
of Mr. Jude Bucknor and his Late Night advisers, Dr.
Martineau has the ears and mind of another significant
shareholder based in London called Genesis, a Fund
Management company.

The two can command 20 percent shares.

According to Jude's documented proposals crafted last
month, all 20 percent of the government's shares will
go to prop up Addax's push and mop up a few additional
shares to make up the 50 plus 1 percent that they need
to launch the putsch and win their way in an emergency
general meeting.

By the wording of the memo, the indications are than an
agreement has already been reached as to how they are
going to distribute posts in the new Ashanti Management
and the Board's composition.

It is not clear yet which other shareholders will join
the movement of the putschists.

The strength of the local shareholding is
insignificant. The largest institutional shareholder
was 31st December Women's Movement, which has good
professional female managers at the helm, among them
Ms. S. Ayittey and Mrs. Addo, the mother of Ms. Mona
Addo Caesar, who bailed out of AGC last fortnight. Ms.
Addo has since formed a new treasury management
company, BXV Consulting, along with every single
significant member of the small staff that worked under
her at the AGC treasury, where she was the Group
Treasurer. A shrewd and ambitious capable hand, Mrs.
Mona Addo is seeking a $1,500 a day contract with AGC
and $1,000 a day for the other quot;seniorquot; consultants to
manage the AGC Treasury from their dining hall.

Nobody could confirm by press time whether 31st DWM had
sold out its shares or not.

A huge screen of secrecy has been thrown around this
conspiracy and the 31-point memorandum authored by Jude
and copied to Databank and other London parties,
described as co-conspirators by a local insider who
claimed to be working for the group underscores the
depth of the role of the Government Advisers.

A fax signed by Mr. Bucknor cautions in language
reeking with conspiratorial adjectival clauses:

quot;We should take out all references to Management and an
Emergency General Meeting.quot;

quot;It is risky at this point to have a document floating
around Accra on this issue.quot;

Jude and Co. have also counselled the Government to go
on the offensive but operate like a submarine, that is,
go underground by refusing to match AGC in a war of
words. Government must not be seen to be acting in
concert with others in pursuit of such an agenda, they

Beware of journalists quot;looking for an angle,quot; the
government was again warned.

One of Jude's memo is copied to the third in command at
Databank, Mr. Yoofi Grant who has been represented by
Mr. Ofori-Atta at last month's meeting to consider
AGC's financial plan.

Reached for comment by The Ghanaian Chronicle, on the
plans for the emergency general meeting, the Databank
boss went on record to say, quot;It is news to me.quot;

Both Messrs Sam Jonah and Jude Bucknor were reported to
be out of circulation.

The AGC office said they were not aware of any legal

The Chronicle, however, managed to confirm the law firm
that had already been given the brief with guidance
from a London based solicitor from Lincoln's Inn to
file the suit.

Mr. Joe Ghartey from the respected firm, Ghartey amp;
Ghartey will have the honours to get the ball rolling.