Photographer: Graham Barclay/Bloomberg

Sibanye Gold Still Keen on Bidding for Anglo Platinum Mines

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Sibanye Gold Ltd. may still bid for the South African platinum mines that Anglo American Plc wants to dispose of even as the world’s largest producer of the metal said a separate listing of the assets was more probable.

While Anglo American Platinum Ltd. favored a sale of the four mines, a listing was also a possibility should bids not meet its valuation of the operations, the producer said last year. Anglo American, which holds a 77 percent stake in Amplats, as the unit is known, said in April an initial public offering was more probable even as the company had yet to make a final decision.

Sibanye is assessing the mines’ value based on information supplied by Amplats after it expressed interest in buying the assets, James Wellsted, a spokesman for South Africa’s largest gold producer by output, said Monday by phone.

“We are aware that an IPO is a possibility, and that may be a function of maybe realizing better value,” Wellsted said. “We’ll continue in the process in good faith and may make a bid that we think is fair.” Sibanye closed 0.8 percent lower at 21.24 rand in Johannesburg, extending losses for the year to 5.8 percent.

Amplats will pursue the best of the two divestment options and will make a decision on the exit mechanism by the end of next month, Mpumi Sithole, a spokeswoman for the producer, said by e-mail.

While Sibanye is looking for mines valued by their owners at about 5 billion rand ($417 million) to 10 billion rand, it doesn’t plan to pay as much, Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman said last year.

The Union and three Rustenburg mines that Amplats is selling are together worth about 5 billion rand, Rene Hochreiter, a Johannesburg-based analyst at Noah Capital Markets Pty Ltd., said in March.

Platinum, used in catalysts that cut harmful emissions from vehicle and for jewelry, has lost 40 percent since August 2011, squeezing the margins of higher-cost, aging mines in South Africa, which holds more than 70 percent of global reserves.

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