EDITORIAL: From Kebble to colossus
One sensible thing Brett Kebble did was to support Mark Bristow and Randgold
Who can honestly say life is not filled with rich ironies? One of SA’s most notorious business people, Brett Kebble, died in 2005, notionally in a kind of assisted suicide after his mining empire collapsed. A small branch of that empire has now become part of what could be soon the largest gold company in the world. One sensible thing that Kebble did — perhaps the only sensible thing — was to support Mark Bristow and Randgold Resources, then a partly owned subsidiary of Kebble’s Randgold & Exploration. Bristow wanted to start a gold mine — in Mali of all places. That small mine grew into a giant mining house. In the process, Randgold Resources became one of the top 10 performing stocks on the FTSE 100 over the past decade. It has never reported a quarterly loss or taken a write-down. And that, in the gold industry, is incredible.
At the weekend, the world’s second-largest miner, Barrick, and Randgold announced an unusual deal. First, it’s a nil-premium takeover by the Canadian...