JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The proposed acquisition by Sibanye of Stillwater Mining will come under the spotlight on April 25, when shareholders will be asked to consider resolutions to give effect to the transaction, with or without amendment.
The Johannesburg- and New York Stock Exchange-listed Sibanye, headed by CEO Neal Froneman, said on Monday that shareholders must give notice by April 7 of their intention to take part in a general meeting, the results of which will be released on the same day.
Stillwater, which is the sole US miner of platinum-group metals (PGMs) and the largest primary producer of PGMs outside of South Africa and the Russian Federation, mines and processes PGMs in south-central Montana.
Earlier this month, in line with standard procedure for a transaction of this nature, Sibanye received official notification from the Committee on Foreign Investment in US of its investigation of the proposed R30-billion acquisition.
This followed South African Reserve Bank authorisation in February, the same month in which the required bridge finance facilities were structured into three tranches, the first being a $750-million bridge-to-equity raise, which will be repaid following Sibanye’s planned rights issue. The other two comprise a $300-million bridge-to-cash and a $1.6-billion bridge-to-debt capital raise.
Refinancing of the bridge loan is expected to begin soon after the general meeting in April to approve the acquisition of Stillwater, which received a boost last month when both Sibanye and Stillwater received early termination of the waiting period under the US’s Hart-Scott-Rodino legislation, which means that the transaction’s antitrust condition is satisfied.
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 secondary mining, PGM recycling, both of which will help Sibanye become the globally competitive South African mining champion that it is going all-out to be.
South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation as a major shareholder has given its formal support to the Stillwater deal as well as Sibanye’s foray into platinum, which includes its acquisition of Rustenburg Platinum for $326-million and the acquisition of Aquarius for $294-million, the latter taking it into Zimbabwe's Great Dyke platinum belt.