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BUYOUT BID

Royal Bafokeng Platinum board recommends that shareholders accept mandatory offer from Implats

(Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The board of mid-tier producer Royal Bafokeng Platinum has recommended that the company shareholders accept a mandatory offer from Impala Platinum to acquire their shares. If the transaction goes through, which seems likely, it would be a major consolidation move in South Africa’s cash-flush platinum group metals sector.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) said in a statement on Friday that it had assigned an independent board — a regulatory requirement — to consider the merits of the offer and provide an opinion on it.

“Following receipt of the opinion of the Independent Expert being PSG Capital Proprietary Limited, … the Board is of the view that the Mandatory Offer Consideration is fair and reasonable and has recommended that shareholders accept the Mandatory Offer,” RBPlat said.

Impala Platinum (Implats) in December had raised its stake in the target to more than 35%, triggering a mandatory offer of R90 cash and 0.300 Implats shares for each RBPlat share.

“On 24 November 2021, this represented a premium of 23% to the Royal Bafokeng Platinum closing share price of R121.92 and a premium of 80% to Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s 30-day VWAP [volume-weighted average price] of R83.51 prior to Royal Bafokeng Platinum and Implats’ joint cautionary announcement on 27 October 2021,” Implats said when it made the offer in January.

Shortly after Implats’ intentions were made known last year, rival Northam Platinum acquired 32.8% of RBPlat for R180.5 per share, but that failed to trigger a mandatory offer.

“RBPlat has also informed the market that there are no material developments with respect to the possible trigger of a mandatory offer by Northam Platinum,” the company said.

RBPlat has a lot going for it. Its assets are both shallow and high-grade, factors that cut costs while boosting profits. Labour relations at RBPlat, where the National Union of Mineworkers is the majority union, have also been for the most part stable.

And PGM companies are flush with cash thanks to scorching prices for the likes of rhodium. While off dizzying peaks, prices remain elevated by historical standards, and pivots to mechanisation are boosting productivity and profits. Anglo American Platinum said on Friday in a trading update that it expected its headline earnings per share for the 2021 financial year to rise between 146% and 166% from 2020’s record results. DM/BM   

 

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