Implats “delighted” RBPlat offer considered fair and reasonable

IMPALA Platinum (Implats) said it was “delighted” its offer for shares in RBPlat had been considered fair and reasonable by an independent board convened by the offeree.

Implats bid R90 per share in cash and 0.3 Impala shares per RBPlat share. At the time of a circular published by Implats detailing the mandatory nature of its offer, Implats had built a 35% stake in RBPlat.

“We are delighted that both the independent expert and the independent board appointed by RBPlat has endorsed our offer and agreed that the offer is fair and reasonable,” said Nico Muller, CEO of Implats. “In addition, we note the independent board’s recommendation to shareholders to accept our offer,” he said.

Implats’ offer compares to the purchase of shares by Northam Platinum which on November 9 bought a 32.8% stake in RBPlat for about R180/share worth about R17bn at that time. As part of Northam’s share acquisition it also negotiated a put and call option agreement with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) and one of RBH’s subsidiaries that would see it inch up its stake to 36.1%.

The move surprised Implats which had previously announced its intention for a takeover of RBPlat. Analysts said Implats is the more natural bidder for RBPlat because they have mines bordering one another on the eastern side of the Bushveld Complex – the geological occurrence where most of South Africa’s platinum group metals are located.

Implats’ offer then becomes wholly unconditional on May 30. The offer closes on June 17. The circular – issued on January 17 – also sets down the required conditions precedent including approvals from such bodies as the Competition Commission.