Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin merger receive shareholder approvals

30 May 2019 (Last Updated May 30th, 2019 12:19)

Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin have received shareholder approval for their planned merger, which will position the merged entity as one of the world's leading platinum and palladium producers.

Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin merger receive shareholder approvals
Sibanye-Stillwater’s Driefontein operation, located west of Johannesburg in South Africa. Credit: Sibanye-Stillwater.

Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin have received shareholder approval for their planned merger, which will position the merged entity as one of the world’s leading platinum and palladium producers.

According to Sibanye-Stillwater, 87% of its shareholders have supported the all-share offer, which was revised down in April. This revised offer values Lonmin at £226m, ($286m), £60m less than the earlier offer.

The majority of the shareholders of Lonmin to approved the deal on the same day.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said: “We are pleased to have received the overwhelming support of both sets of shareholders for the Lonmin transaction.

“The rationale for this transaction remains compelling and we are convinced the integration of Lonmin’s PGM assets with Sibanye-Stillwater’s adjacent PGM operations, will ensure a more sustainable and positive future for all these assets.

“The transaction, once successfully completed, will establish the Sibanye-Stillwater Group as the largest primary producer of platinum and second-largest primary palladium producer with a unique geographical and platinum group metal mix. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the regulatory authorities both in the United Kingdom and South Africa, for the balanced and considered manner with which they approached this transaction and its long-term significance for all stakeholders, which we also take very seriously.”

“The transaction will establish the Sibanye-Stillwater Group as the largest primary producer of platinum and second-largest primary palladium producer.”

Earlier this month, South Africa’s Competition Appeal Court had given clearance to the deal. This clearance has stopped the attempts of employee union at Lonmin to stop the deal or have it re-analysed.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union had attempted intended to stop some inevitable layoffs, with the merger threatening up to 3,000 jobs.

This acquisition is considered as a rescue deal for Lonmin, which was badly impacted by tepid platinum prices following the 2016-17 downturn and an increase in mining costs.