PLATINUM GROUP METALS
Implats offered $2.9bn for Rasimone platinum mine
The mine is a joint venture between Anglo Platinum and a unit of unlisted Royal Bafokeng Holdings, but according to RBH CEO Niall Carroll, Anglo Platinum snubbed the deal.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -
Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J: Quote) offered to buy South Africa's Rasimone platinum mine for nearly $2.9 billion, but its bid was snubbed by rival Anglo Platinum (AMSJ.J: Quote), according to an executive familiar with the deal.
Implats, the world's second-largest producer of the precious metal, had bid just under 20 billion rand ($2.9 billion) for the mine, a joint venture between its bigger rival and a unit of unlisted Royal Bafokeng Holdings, according to a copy of a speech made by RBH Chief Executive Niall Carroll on Tuesday.
"Anglo Platinum formally declined to sell, thereby killing the Implats offer," Carroll said in the speech, which was seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
Angloplat owns 33 percent in the mine, with the remainder owned by a subsidiary of RBH.
Implats said on Monday it had ended talks with an undisclosed party and talks relating to an offer for the mine had been terminated.
Carroll said he could only speculate on the reasons why Angloplat blocked the deal. The company may have been concerned about strengthening its main rival, may have not liked the price, or may have feared losing its black economic empowerment credits it gained when the joint venture was created, he said.
The RBH unit, Royal Bafokeng Platinum, is due to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSEJ.J: Quote) by the end of 2010.
AngloPlat said in a statement it had rejected the recent offer for RBPlats because the offer did not support its business strategy and was not in the best long term interests of its shareholders.
The company also said it supported RBPlat's planned listing on the JSE. [ID:nWEA2178]
Carroll said Angloplat was able to veto the Implats offer because of a clause in the joint venture agreement, adding the veto power was valid until December 2012.
Angloplat, a unit of Anglo American (AAL.L: Quote), and Implats are the world's top two producers of the precious metal used in the catalytic converters that cut pollutants from car exhausts.
Carroll said Royal Bafokeng Platinum has been valued at between 9 to 11 billion rand. He said the Implats offer represented a 50 percent premium on Royal Bafokeng Platinum's imputed IPO price.
The Rasimone underground mine, Royal Bafokeng Platinum's main asset, produced 270,000 ounces of platinum group metals in 2009.
The company is developing the nearby 11.8 billion rand Styldrift brownfield project, estimated to come into production by 2017 and to raise the company's annual output to 420,000 ounces. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Shapi Shacinda; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=6.898 Rand)
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