On March 31, 2006, the Court entered the Judgment dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. Plaintiffs’ counsel was awarded attorney fees and expenses, and lead plaintiff was awarded $7,219.00 from the settlement fund. On June 2, 2006, the Court entered the Order granting the motion for disbursement of funds.
By the Memorandum and Order entered on November 15, 2005, signed by U.S. District Judge David G. Trager, the settlement is declared fair and reasonable. Plaintiffs' claims are dismissed with prejudice. Counsel in this matter is granted attorneys fees in the form of 27.5% of the gross settlement fund and $1,377,825.93 in reasonable fees and expenses. Lead plaintiffs are also awarded $7,219 from the settlement fund.
According to a press release dated October 26, 2005, the terms of settlement in the US Class Action brought against the former Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited (AGC) have been concluded subject to court approval. The complaint inter-alia alleges non-disclosures and misstatements by AGC regarding its hedging programme. Pursuant to the settlement described in the Notice Of Proposed Settlement Of Class Action, Motion For Attorneys’ Fees and Settlement Fairness Hearing, a Settlement Fund consisting of $15,000,000 (US$) in cash, plus interest, has been established. The Court will hold a Settlement Fairness Hearing at 12:01 p.m. on November 2, 2005, at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201. At this hearing the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate.
Additional cases were filed on behalf of investors. On September 8, 2000, lead plaintiffs and counsel were appointed. On October 27, 2000, a consolidated amended complaint was filed under the caption In re Ashanti Goldfields Securities Litigation, CV 00-0717 (DGT) (RML). Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on May 29, 2001. Plaintiffs filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss and defendants filed a reply in support of it. By a Memorandum and Order dated February 28, 2002, the Court granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, finding that the plaintiffs had adequately shown that defendants’ misstatements were actionable under the federal securities laws and granting plaintiffs leave to file a second consolidated complaint. Plaintiffs filed their second consolidated amended complaint on March 7, 2002. On April 8, 2002, defendants answered the operative complaint, denying the violation of any laws and any wrongdoing. The case then proceeded with discovery. On April 25, 2003, plaintiffs filed motions for class certification and for permission to file a third complaint. Defendants opposed the motions. On March 30, 2004, the Court entered an order certifying this case to proceed as a class action. On April 26, 2004, plaintiffs filed a third consolidated amended complaint. On June 8, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a Settlement Agreement.
The original complaint alleges that Ashanti had issued a series of false and misleading statements about the company's hedging strategy that misrepresented and concealed the hedge book risks and Ashanti's exposure to gold price volatility.
The attorneys said that after Ashanti announced on Oct. 5 that the hedge book had turned negative by more than $450 million and that the company would be required to meet massive margin calls that it did not have capital to meet, the price of Ashanti's stock fell 56 percent by the next day.