Takeover nets Cluff pounds 2.5m

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Algy Cluff, founder and chairman of Cluff Resources, stands to gain pounds 2.5m from shares and options following the launch by Ashanti Goldfields of an agreed bid for the goldmining group, writes Mary Fagan.

The proposed takeover, valuing Cluff Resources at pounds 80m, ends weeks of speculation over the future of the company. Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong yesterday sold its 26.6 per cent stake to Ashanti for pounds 21m. Other big shareholders include Provident Mutual Life and Echo Bay of the US.

Mr Cluff said: "It's sad to be mugged, but that is capitalism for you. It is very sad to lose independence, having done so well after starting in what were very difficult circumstances."

He added: "They are paying a fair price. The offer clearly vindicates the considerable effort we have invested in Africa over the years. "

The offer is one new Ashanti share for every 12 Cluff shares with a full cash alternative of 105p. The price represents a premium of 14 per cent over the middle market value on Wednesday. Cluff's shares rose 12p to 104p.