Sibanye Faces Investor Opposition to Aquarius Platinum Offer

  • Investec, largest investor in Aquarius, is against $294m deal
  • Sibanye offer follows $331m Anglo Platinum purchase last month

Sibanye Gold Ltd., the largest miner of bullion in South Africa, faces resistance to its $294 million offer to buy Aquarius Platinum Ltd. after the target company’s biggest shareholder said it opposes the “opportunistic” deal.

Investec Asset Management, which owns a 13.9 percent stake in Aquarius, won’t support the bid under current conditions, according to Hanre Rossouw, a money manager at the Johannesburg-based company. Aquarius’ management said it will recommend shareholders support the transaction, which needs a simple majority to pass. Some shareholders “have indicated their support for the transaction,” Sibanye said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sibanye will offer $0.195, or 2.66 rand, a share for Aquarius, it said in the statement. Aquarius Platinum shares rose 37 percent to 2.32 rand by the close in Johannesburg, the highest price since Feb. 17.

“They’ll get the assets for almost nothing, while the premium is paid from the synergies and cash that they’ll get from the deal,” Rossouw said by phone, referring to Aquarius’ net cash holdings of $72 million and 800 million rand ($58 million) of cost savings targeted by Sibanye.

Aquarius’ main operating asset is the Kroondal venture with Anglo Platinum near Rustenburg, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) north-west of Johannesburg. That’s close to the assets that Sibanye agreed to buy from the world’s largest platinum producer for at least $331 million on Sept. 9. Aquarius also owns a stake in the Mimosa venture in Zimbabwe with Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.

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