March 19, 2010 / 7:41 AM / 10 years ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-African Barrick Gold IPO priced at 575 pence

(Repeats with addition of Reuters Instrument Code ABGL.L)

* Values firm at about $3.6 bln, expected to join FTSE 100

* Proceeds to be used to repay loans, pay special dividend * Produced 112,200 ounces of gold in first 2 months of 2010

* Shares to start trading on Friday

(Adds details)

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - African Barrick Gold ABGL.L priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 575 pence per share, at the bottom end of the 550 pence to 650 pence range, ahead of the start of conditional trading on Friday.

The price for ABG, the biggest flotation in London in almost two years, values the company at about 2.33 billion pounds ($3.6 billion). London-headquartered ABG is likely to be admitted to the FTSE 100 Index. Parent firm Barrick Gold Corp (BGC) (ABX.TO) — the world’s largest gold miner — is selling 100 million shares, or a quarter of ABG, and retaining the rest.

The offering of ABG, the world’s 16th-largest gold miner, is occurring as economic recovery kicks in and concern about euro sovereign debt recedes.

Net proceeds of the offer are expected to be about 547 million pounds which the group will use to repay loans to Barrick Gold of about $575 million and use the remainder to pay a one-off special dividend to the members of the Barrick Group.

“We are delighted with the strong support received for the IPO of African Barrick Gold, and are especially pleased by the level and quality of investor demand in the current market environment,” said Chief Executive Greg Hawkins.

The deal is being arranged by J.P.Morgan Cazenove (JPM.N), and Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

The IPO is London’s biggest since New World Resources’ NWRS.L $2.5 billion offering in May 2008, according to Thomson Reuters data.

ABG, one of Africa’s five largest gold producers, said it produced about 112,200 ounces of gold in the first two months of 2010, exceeding the year-earlier figure mainly due to the start of production at the Buzwagi mine in Tanzania in May 2009. (Reporting by Julie Crust and Eric Onstad; editing by Victoria Bryan)

$1=.6545 Pound

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