London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 August 2008 – Swiss-based international miner Xstrata plc – making its hostile US$10 billion (R75 billion) bid for Lonmin plc – has purchased more shares in the world’s third-biggest platinum producer from BlackRock Incorporated.
Reporting from here, Bloomberg News quoted Blackrock fund manager Evy Hambro as saying that he had accepted Xstrata’s 3 300-pence-a- share bid “rather than waiting for a higher offer that may never eventuate.”
Hambro – managing director of BlackRock’s $15.3 billion (R115 billion) World Mining Fund – said: “Given the depressed valuations in the rest of the sector, we saw more upside in re- deploying the proceeds from the sale of our Lonmin shares into other mining equities.
He declined to give further details of the sale, but an official Blackrock statement said it had sold 3.2 million shares – or 2.1% – of Lonmin, at 3 300 pence apiece. Presumably one can add this to the 10.7% that Xstrata confirmed last week that it held in Lonmin.
The Xstrata offer of 3 300 pence a share was 42% more than Lonmin’s closing share price on 5 August – the day before Xstrata made its proposal.
Bloomberg reports that Xstrata plans to restore production at Lonmin’s South African mines and smelter to the higher levels of two years ago. Lonmin said last week that its production would be about 725 000 oz of platinum for the year to 30 September 2008 – the third time this year that it has lowered the forecast.