By: Martin Creamer
19th October 2007
“We will be looking at the gender equity side and we hope to get a very competent woman to do that part of the job,” says Sasol executive director Dr Benny Mokaba, in the wake of the announcement of the sale of 20% of coal-producer Sasol Mining to Wiphold-Mining Women Investments-WipCoal.
WipCoal will have 51% of black-women controlled coal mining company Ixia Coal, which will have 20% of Sasol Mining.
The R1,9-billion Ixia Coal transaction fulfils the Mining Charter black economic empowerment (BEE) ownership requirement of 26%, seven years ahead of the 2014 target.
“I believe that, in this case, we, in delivering on the BEE agenda, have provided a good basis for growth for Sasol Mining.
“With that compliance with the charter, we have a great opportunity to be able obtain our mining rights in terms of the new law,” Mokaba says.
Sasol Mining MD Hermann Wenhold let it be known that it documents outlining the transaction were going to be made available to the Department of Minerals and Energy immediately.
He foresees Sasol Mining assisting Ixia to develop into a coal-mining operating company that will be controlled specifically by black women.
Mokaba described the transaction as a “great opportunity” for Sasol Mining simultaneously to comply and also to grow.
The Sasol Mining-Wiphold-Ixia Coal transaction is an addition to last year’s sale of 25% of Sasol Oil to the liquid fuels BEE, Tshwarisano, in compliance with the Liquid Petroleum Charter.
It also follows the establishment of Sasol Mining’s Igoda export coal BEE, in which Sasol Mining has 65% and Eyesizwe Coal 35%.
Overarching all of these BEE transactions is Sasol’s biggest BEE of all, the sale of 10% of the shares of Sasol Limited to ordinary black citizens and employees, valued at R18-billion, based on a share price of R285 a share.
Wiphold CEO Luisa Mojela says that Mining Women Investments is made up of non-governmental organisations and 3 000 individuals from the areas in which Sasol Mining has its coal reserves.
“We welcome our new sisters in mining and look forward to together taking mining in South Africa to new heights,” Mojela says.
To enable the transaction, Sasol will establish a new wholly owned subsidiary, Sasol Mining Holdings, which will hold 80% of Sasol Mining.
Sasol Mining Holdings will have a 49% ownership in Ixia Coal, the other 51% owned by WipCoal.
Wiphold will be the majority shareholder in WipCoal Investments, with 60%, the other 40% being owned by Mining Women Investments.
Independently controlled, Ixia will hold 20% of Sasol Mining’s issued share capital through BEE Holdco, which will raise the required funding for the transaction.
From inception, Ixia will have full rights.
The R1,9-billion value takes into account Sasol Mining’s future expected cash flows, capital investment requirements and an appropriate level of debt.
The BEE transaction will be financed through equity – R59-million – and a combination of Sasol facilitation and 40% third-party debt.
Sasol executive director responsible for the South African energy businesses, Dr Benny Mokaba says: “This transaction promotes women in mining. We want to create lasting empowerment by providing opportunities for our country’s women to enter and benefit from the traditionally male-dominated mining industry. Our focus will be on developing relevant skills and building capacity among historically disadvantaged women.”
“Our intention is to create a lasting legacy through skills development and capacity building in support of government’s socio-economic objectives. This announcement is another step in our over-arching ambition to empower a broad-base of historically disadvantaged South Africans by advancing initiatives that are sustainable, credible and of benefit to both stakeholders and our country,” Mokaba says.
Controlled by black women, Ixia Coal will become an investor in Sasol Mining. Over the longer term Ixia Coal, with the assistance of Sasol Mining, will also develop operational capacity enabling the company to operate its own coal mines.
Wiphold is an investment and operating company owned and managed by black women, with interests in a range of industries.
Founded in 1994, it is dedicated to the empowerment of women. Represented countrywide, it has 1 200 direct women beneficiaries and, through non-governmental organisation shareholders, an estimated 200 000 women as indirect beneficiaries.
“The transaction has been concluded at fair value. The facilitation cost to Sasol is anticipated to be commensurate with other BEE deals in the mining sector in South Africa and will only be finalised once third party funding arrangements are in place,” says Sasol CFO Christine Ramon, who says no discounts apply.
Sasol Mining is in the process of converting its mining rights as required by South African minerals legislation.
The transaction agreements, which are expected to be completed in 2008, are subject to conversion of Sasol Mining’s mining rights and obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals; and conclusion of the financing agreements with third party lenders.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu