US investigating Gold Fields over BEE deal

Gold Fields has said it is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over a 2010 BEE deal.

Gold Fields, which is listed in the US and therefore subject to scrutiny from US regulators, said in a statement today it was being probed over the deal, which includes the granting of a mining licence for its South Deep mine.

The company in 2010 gave a 9% stake in South Deep to a group of black investors to meet government targets for black economic empowerment (BEE).

The company, South Africa’s second biggest gold producer, said last month an independent investigation into the deal determined that the transaction did not meet its own standards.

Gold Fields Chief Executive Nick Holland has offered to waive his 2013 bonus due to concerns over the deal.

The company has not released the results of the independent investigation, which it said was prompted by several local press reports about the transaction.

Gold Fields’ former chairwoman Mamphela Ramphele – who has since founded a political party, Agang SA – told financial daily Business Day in March the company had come under government pressure to include certain specific shareholders in the deal.

Gold Fields has said Ramphele’s comments represent her personal view.

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