Lonmin, Sibanye-Stillwater deal moves step closer after bank approval

Ben Magara, chief executive officer of Lonmin Plc, pauses during an interview on the second day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. With many miners battling to stay afloat, fewer are willing to shell out 1,140 pounds ($1,641) for the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in South Africa and business-class airfare. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

THE proposed merger of Lonmin’s operations with those of Sibanye-Stillwater took an important step forward today following the transaction’s approval by the South African Reserve Bank.

“We are pleased to have received this important regulatory approval in a timely manner, which takes us another step closer to concluding this important transaction,” said Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye Stillwater. His counterpart at Lonmin, Ben Magara, said his firm was “… working closely with Sibanye Stillwater towards completing the proposed transaction during the second half of the year as planned”.

Magara said on May 14 at Lonmin’s interim results announcement that the company planned 12,000 job retrenchments between now and 2021, but that failure to close the transaction with Sibanye-Stillwater in a timely way would result in Lonmin going into business rescue proceedings, while early conclusion of the deal could save company jobs.