Reserve Bank rubber-stamps Sibanye-Stillwater's acquisition of Lonmin

Reserve Bank rubber-stamps Sibanye-Stillwater's acquisition of Lonmin

Neal Froneman, chief executive at Sibanye-Stillwater, has said that his group would not take over a company with a "big black hole", according to reports.

It is subject to the passing of the required resolutions by Lonmin and Sibanye-Stillwater shareholders and the approvals of the competition authorities of the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The company has warned 12,600 jobs could be under threat over the next three years, with 3,700 job losses earmarked for this year, even if the Sibanye deal goes ahead.

A Lonmin spokeswoman said notification was filed to the South African Competition Commission on March 13, followed by the CMA on May 11.

Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater made an all-share offer for London-listed Lonmin in December, but the planned 285 million pound deal to create the world's No.2 platinum producer faces several other hurdles.

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Lonmin agreed on a £285m takeover which would make it the second largest platinum producer in the world, second only to Anglo American Platinum, which could be a cause for concern for the British market competition watchdog.

Analysts at Liberum said at the "current rate of cash burn Lonmin will be pushed into net debt before the year (end), scuppering the proposed merger before it has a chance to complete". "We can't let our shareholders absorb those kinds of expenses".

Sibanye and Lonmin have an in-principle agreement to discuss asset acquisitions should the deal not conclude, they said.

It would also trigger Lonmin's debt covenants and require the platinum miner to pay $150 million in 20 days.

The South African central bank approved the transaction, Sibanye said on Tuesday.

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