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34

Harmony Upset Over Bid Expiry

South African gold miner Harmony Gold is deciding whether to press on its rival Gold Fields

South African gold miner Harmony Gold is deciding whether to press on its rival Gold Fields with its takeover bid after the Competition Tribunal set May hearing dates that threaten the $5.3 billion offer.

The hearings to be held on May 3-6 2005, two months later than Harmony wanted. That means that Harmony will not be able to conclude its bid before the May 20 expiry of an irrevocable agreement with Norilsk Nickel.

Harmony?s CEO Bernard Swanepoel said that the company?s board would likely meet in the next few weeks to extend the agreement with Russian metals giant. They will consider the opportunity to seek an extension of the bid past the current cut-off date of March 18.