JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in favour of Sibanye acquiring Stillwater, the US platinum group metals (PGMs) company.
The number of shares that voted in favour of the proposed deal made up 83% of Sibanye’s total issued share capital.
Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman thanked shareholders for supporting what he described as a “unique and transformative opportunity to acquire world-class, low-cost international PGM assets”.
Stillwater offered the potential to create in Sibanye, “a globally competitive South African mining champion with a unique commodity mix”, the head of the JSE- and New York-listed precious metals company added.
The Stillwater shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction in the US at 22:00 South African time on Tuesday.
The US’s Committee on Foreign Investment last week gave unconditional approval for the transaction.
Sibanye is offering $2.2-billion for Stillwater, the biggest producer of PGMs outside South Africa and Russia.
The $2.65-billion bridge loan facility that Sibanye secured in December to buy the US company that mines and processes the metals in Montana, has since been syndicated to a consortium of 16 banks to conclude the transaction.
Sibanye also plans to raise $1-billion in debt, “most likely through the bond market”, the company said in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.
Both capital tranches are expected to be raised by mid-year to enable Sibanye to restructure most of the “acquisition bridge”.
Sibanye said it would continue to explore other sources of long-term capital, with additional funding before year-end expected to comprise a combination of capital sources, including equity-like products such as commodity streaming transactions, convertible bonds or new equity issued under the group’s general authority.
The acquisition has the potential to put Sibanye on the inside track of low-cost mechanised primary mining as well as provide it with deep insight into PGM recycling.
Sibanye’s foray into platinum began with its acquisition of Rustenburg Platinum and Aquarius, the latter taking it into Zimbabwe's Great Dyke platinum belt.