Implats sticks by R90 per share cash portion of RBPlat bid despite target’s final dividend

IMPALA Platinum (Implats) confirmed the cash portion of its offer for Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) would be unaffected by the R5,35/share final dividend announced by RBPlat earlier this week.

In terms of its offer for shares in RBPlat it doesn’t currently own, Implats said it would pay R90 per share in cash as well as 0.3 Impala shares per RBPlat share.

“Should RBPlat declare a further dividend or make any other distribution to RBPlat shareholders prior to the settlement date, Implats reserves the right to adjust the offer consideration on the basis set out in the circular,” it added today.

Implats owns just over 35% of RBPlat whilst Northam Platinum has a 34.9% stake in the company following its surprise purchase of shares in November from RBPlat’s largest shareholder Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) – a transaction that drew the anger of RBPlat CEO, Steve Phiri on Tuesday.

RBH had “abandoned shareholders” and had “poured cold water” on the “celebration” of RBPlat’s position as a vehicle for consolidation in the platinum group metals (PGMs) sector, Phiri said at the firm’s full year presentation.

Responding to a question at RBPlat’s results presentation about its final dividend payment, Phiri said the board was not swayed by any specific shareholder.

Hanré Rossouw, outgoing CFO for RBPlat told Miningmx that Northam may have wanted a significant dividend to be paid as it had commitments to pay back debt owed to RBH. “You can see from the CEO’s comment that RBPlat’s independent board has done a fantastic job making decisions on behalf of all shareholders,” Rossouw said.

Said Phiri at the time: “Our board consists of credible men and women with integrity who take their jobs and fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. As a board we are not run by an individivual shareholder”.

Phiri also had stern words for Northam Platinum saying that “… any person who is contemplating some offer must put up or shut up … The shareholders of RBPlat deserve some respect and certainty”.

Phiri also criticised Royal Bafokeng Nation, the North West province community that stands behind RBH. “You do not give that heritage up even for the most tempting price. That must not be forgotten,” he said, referring to the nation’s historic purchase of North West province property.

Northam’s position in RBPlat resulted in “a messy contest between two strangers in the launch area of RBN [Royal Bafokeng Nation], leaving RBN a spectactor in its own house,” said Phiri who added – somewhat ominously for Implats’ consolidation plans: “It will take some time to resolve … if at all.”

Phiri announced his retirement after 11 years at RBPlat.