IMPALA Platinum (Implats) expressed shock after Northam Platinum displaced it as the takeover partner of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat).
“It came as a surprise,” said Johan Theron, spokesman for the company. “We had done a reciprocal due diligence as the deal involved equity and cash. On this basis, we had the full support of RBPlat’s management as they recognised the value of the transaction,” he said.
There had also been an in-principle agreement with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) although there were “some peripheral issues to be resolved. We believed we had the support of RBPlat’s main shareholders,” said Theron.
Northam Platinum announced today an agreement with RBH to buy a 32.8% stake in RBPlat for R17bn in cash and shares. Northam also has options over most of the balance of RBH’s additional shares in RBPlat which give it an iron grip over the company.
The offer amounts to R180,50 per RBPlat share which Theron said was a 100% premium to RBPlat’s shares prior to Implats’ offer, and 50% higher than RBPlat’s share at close of trade on Monday.
Asked for how Implats viewed its options, Theron said it could “do nothing” in respect of RBPlat focusing instead of growth options in its portfolio akin to the expansion of Zimplats and Two Rivers platinum mines which it announced earlier this year.
“We have plenty of options in regards to growth,” he said, adding however that Implats had a successful track-record in joint ventures raising the outside possibility it could enter into a joint venture arrangement with Northam Platinum over the RBPlats assets.
Implats’ Rustenburg shafts are cheek by jowl with RBPlats’ recently commissioned project Styldrift which Theron said would have provided beneficial synergies for the company and the region. Northam’s Zondereinde is situated on the northern part of the western limb of the platinum belt while Booysendal is on the eastern limb of the Bushveld complex.
Implats announced on October 27 that it was in talks with RBPlats for a takeover which Theron said would have seen RBPlats become an Implats shareholder.
Shares in Northam Platinum were nearly 13% weaker on the JSE today valuing the company at R76.6bn. RBPlats shares were about 4.5% lower whilst Implats was largely unchanged from Monday.