Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 November 2009 – A takeover bid by Impala Platinum (Implats) is believed to be one of the three options being looked at by Wesizwe Platinum (Wesizwe), which is currently trading under a cautionary notice.
Reporting this, Miningmx.com said today that, when approached for comment, Wesizwe CEO Michael Solomon referred the query to Wesizwe chairman Iraj Abedian. He has not returned calls from Miningmx, and nor has Implats CEO David Brown.
The other two options being considered by Wesizwe in terms of the cautionary issued on October 27 are understood to be some kind of fund raising scheme and a deal to bring in a new partner, Miningmx.com adds.
Market speculation is that the partnership deal would mostly likely be with either a Chinese or Japanese company wanting to secure its source of platinum group metals (PGM), given worries over possible future shortages of supply.
There is keen investor interest in what action Implats might take, not only for the immediate impact on the Wesizwe share price, but because of the medium-term implications for possible greater consolidation of that sector of the Bushveld Complex.
Well-placed platinum sector sources are speculating on the role that Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) may be about to play, given its strategic links to the two major groups which dominate that particular sector: Implats and Anglo Platinum (AngloPlat).
RBH is the largest shareholder in Implats, with a 13.2% stake. Perception in the platinum sector is that RBH’s influence over Implats has been strengthened through the recent dismissal of its chairman Fred Roux.
Roux has been replaced as chairman by former ArcelorMittal chairman Khotso Mokhele. Mokhele is believed to have close links to the Royal Bafokeng.