Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Citadel's ASCOM buys stake in UK gold miner

ASCOM Precious Metals, or APM, a subsidiary of Asec Company for Mining, said Tuesday it acquired a 9% stake in U.K.-listed gold exploration and production company GMA Resources for GBP1.9 million.

The deal comes as part of ASCOM's strategy to grow its precious metals mining division and expand its mining operations throughout North and East Africa, Citadel Capital, a Cairo-based private equity firm, said in an e-mailed statement.

ASCOM, a subsidiary of Citadel Capital, targets investments in the regional mining sector, the statement said.

"The acquisition was a perfect fit for ASCOM as the company looks for regional expansion opportunities," said Karim Sadek, managing director at Citadel Capital, one of the largest Middle East private equity firms.

"We already have five gold mining concessions in Ethiopia and are in the process of negotiating additional concessions in Sudan and Egypt. Acquiring a stake in GMA was the perfect opportunity for us to expand our presence in Algeria, a country where Citadel Capital and ASCOM see outstanding growth potential in a number of sectors," he added.

GMA, whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange, has a controlling 52% stake in ENOR, an Algerian gold exploration and production company located south of Algeria in the mineral rich-region of Tirek-Amesmessa.