Aquarius Plans Rights Offer as Part of $225 Million Bond Buyback

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. plans a rights offer to help fund a buyback of $225 million of convertible bonds maturing next year.

Aquarius will announce details of the rights sale once its offer to repurchase bonds from holders closes on April 11, the Perth-based company said today in a statement. Owners of the $298 million of notes due December 2015 have already agreed to sell back $138 million of the debt, the company said.

The company plans to sell rights shares valued at no less than the minimum $150 million of bonds offered for buyback.

The company, with all but one of its platinum assets in South Africa, is struggling to raise cash after it shut three mines since 2011 following a drop in prices and increased power and wage costs.

Aquarius, with a market value of about $275 million, held the equivalent of $78 million in cash as of Jan. 31 and net debt of about $199 million. It announced the sale of three of its less significant assets in January for as much as $64 million.

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