Marginal gold producer DRDGold completed the sell down of its 78.72 percent indirect stake in Emperor Mines, making it a South African-focused gold producer once more.
According to the company on Monday, it has taken two months to clean up its asset base.
Australian stock exchange-listed Emperor said DRDGold's stake had been sold to "a range of domestic and international institutions and sophisticated investors".
The sale had been achieved through a 24-hour institutional book build where the shares had been placed at 6.8 Australian cents a share.
Rising gold price
Emperor said in a statement that the sell down, which would introduce more than 20 new institutional investors on to the Emperor register, frees it to move ahead with a planned merger with international gold and silver mining company Intrepid Mining, since the successful completion of the sale was a condition of the merger.
"Along with the rising gold price, this transaction has sparked new interest in the company and the merger," said Emperor CEO Brad Gordon.
Emperor had been plagued with poorly performing operations, consecutive annual losses and mine closure.
While DRDGold had sold off Emperor's 20 percent stake in the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and the sale of the Vatukoula mine in Fiji earlier this year, it began its restructuring in earnest when it flagged the sale of Emperor's last producing asset, the Tolukuma gold mine earlier this month.
Running at a loss
Tolukuma, which is also in Papua New Guinea, is running at a loss. Production has fallen from 85 700 ounces in 2004 to 44 200 ounces last year while production costs have risen from $273 an ounce to $814 per ounce in the same period.
Emperor has reportedly held discussions with an unnamed party about the possible purchase if Tolukuma following approaches by several investors.
The National, a local publication in Papua New Guinea, said last week that several companies had carried out due diligence studies on the operations and that Emperor had entered into an exclusivity agreement with one of the parties with a view to concluding the sale.
The National reported that the disclosure document said the sale would only go ahead if the purchase price for the Emperor shares was acceptable to DRDGold.
If the Tolukuma mine is sold prior to Emperor's proposed merger with Intrepid Mining, net proceeds from the sale will be returned to Emperor shareholders.
In terms of its merger plans, Emperor intended to sell Tolukuma and surrounding exploration leases but would hold on to four exploration licence areas.
The sale of Tolukuma will leave Emperor with few assets besides an earn-in interest in the Tujuh Bukit gold/copper project in Indonesia and cash resources of about $70-million.
Intrepid operates the Paulsens gold mine in Western Australia and is developing the Caposo gold-silver project in Argentina.
This means the merged entity will have exploration acreage in Australia, South America, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
A further announcement by DRDGold setting out the financial effects of the sell down will be released as soon as possible, it said.