Chamber of Mines
Image: Sibanye Stillwater

The South African Competition Tribunal has approved Sibanye-Stillwater’s proposed acquisition of Lonmin, but this is on condition of one specific requirement.

In addition to the conditions agreed between Sibanye-Stillwater and the Competition Commission, a further condition has been imposed by the Competition Tribunal, namely: • a moratorium on retrenchments at the Lonmin operations for a period of six months from the implementation date.

This excludes any voluntary separation agreements and ordinary course of business terminations, and does not prevent the company from initiating proceedings in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, as long as such proceedings are not finalised before six months from implementation of the transaction.

Neal Froneman CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater commented:

“I am extremely pleased that the Competition Tribunal has approved the transaction, on terms which we believe are fair, reasonable and in the best interest of all stakeholders.”

“We are confident that the integration of Lonmin’s PGM assets and SibanyeStillwater’s adjacent PGM operations, will ensure a more sustainable and positive future for these assets and bring greater stability to the region.”

“I would also like to acknowledge the comprehensive and pragmatic approach taken by the Competition Commission and Commission Tribunal, with all stakeholders having been given due consideration. This has ensured a fair and judicious outcome, which recognises Sibanye-Stillwater’s commitment to the South African mining sector and the benefits that will accrue to all stakeholders.”

“We are pleased by the Tribunal’s decision to approve the Transaction with Sibanye-Stillwater. Despite our enviable mine to market operations and our positive Q4 performance, the fundamental challenges the company faces as a standalone business remain,” adds Ben Magara, CEO of Lonmin.

“Consolidation provides a sustainable solution to the industry’s challenges. Consequently, we firmly believe that the Transaction is in the best interests of Lonmin shareholders and all other stakeholders of Lonmin, providing the company with a comprehensive and more certain solution.”

The transaction also remains subject to the satisfaction or (where applicable) waiver of the conditions set out in the announcement of the transaction by Lonmin and Sibanye-Stillwater on 14 December 2017.

Such conditions include, amongst others, the approvals of Lonmin and Sibanye-Stillwater shareholders and the courts of England and Wales. A circular to Sibanye-Stillwater shareholders and the Lonmin scheme of arrangement document will be posted to the respective shareholders in due course.

Included in those documents will be the expected dates of the shareholder meetings and timetable to the closing of the transaction.