Bristow to finally put Rockwell Diamonds saga to bed after firm unveils wind-up plan

alluvial diamonds

MARK Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation, is to finally close the book on Rockwell Diamonds, a company he chaired and which he once attempted to save from bankruptcy.

Rockwell Diamonds announced today the Canadian listing authority had revoked a cease trade order which had been issued as the company had previously failed to produce quarterly numbers with the accompanying management discussion.

The company today filed third quarter numbers and announced its intention to wind up its affairs in which a company owned by Bristow, ‘Bristco’ would mop up the interests of minority shareholders in Rockwell and put them into ‘Amalco’.

Dissenting shareholders would have their interests exchanged on a one-for-one basis for redeemable preference shares of Amalco.

The redeemable preference shares would then be immediately redeemed by Amalco in exchange for half a Canadian cent per share, payable in cash. A meeting of shareholders requiring a simple majority has been arranged for March 2.

Bristow first sought to bail out Rockwell Diamonds, which was once run by his brother, John Bristow, in 2014, in which Mark Bristow bought $1.1m in debentures. In 2016, Bristow embarked on a process of ‘fumigation’ in which he restructured the firm’s board and conducted an overview of its operating activities.

Unfortunately, the company never managed to gain traction at its key asset, the 200,000 cubic metres a month Wouterspan, situated in the alluvial diamond fields region of the Northern Cape province.

There was a proposed $8m recapitalisation of the company in 2017.

The company was subsequently put into liquidation proceedings following attempts by a business practitioner to save it from failure. The company was in and out of court throughout this period with claims of corruption involving contractors.

In 2019, Bristow completed the merger of his Randgold Resources with Barrick Gold, a fabulously successful transaction which as coincided with high gold prices.