JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has approved Sibanye-Stillwater's proposed acquisition of Lonmin.
Lonmin CEO Ben Magara on Tuesday said the company was pleased that the SARB had approved the transaction.
Magara on Monday pleaded for authorities to approve the transaction as soon as possible to save more than 12 000 jobs in the platinum industry.
The transaction remains scheduled for closure during the second half of this year, subject to approval by Lonmin and Sibanye's shareholders, as well as the UK and South African competition authorities.
“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. Management remains focused on ensuring that the remaining conditions are met and will notify stakeholders as further progress is made,” Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman said on Tuesday.
Sibanye-Stillwater in December made an all-share offer to acquire embattled Lonmin, with the offer valuing Lonmin at about £285-million, or R5.15-billion.
At the time, Magara said the merger with Sibanye would provide a stronger platform for Lonmin shareholders and other stakeholders to benefit from the long-term upside potential of an enlarged Sibanye-Stillwater Group with greater geographical and commodity diversification.
Trade union Solidarity on Tuesday said it is saddened by the retrenchment crisis Lonmin currently faces.
It stated that it is positive that, if Sibanye-Stillwater succeeds in buying Lonmin, it could offer a favourable outcome for the platinum giant, creating new job opportunities which hopefully will stem or limit Lonmin’s currently envisaged retrenchments over a period of three years.
“If the deal with Sibanye is carried through, which, unfortunately, will also give rise to retrenchments, Lonmin will, however, have a chance of sustainability and, in the long run, it could again make a positive contribution towards economic growth and stability,” Solidarity deputy general secretary for the mining industry Connie Prinsloo said.