Sibanye $2.2bn acquisition of Stillwater passes antitrust conditions

The Kroondal platinum mine was acquired by Sibanye in April 2016. (Image courtesy of Sibanye Gold)

Sibanye Gold (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL), South Africa’s largest miner producer of the precious metal, has been given the green light to proceed with the $2.2 billion acquisition of Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC), the only US platinum producer.

The deal, announced in December, was subject to antitrust conditions that fall under the US’s Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger legislation.

If it goes through, the takeover would make of Sibanye Gold the world’s No. 3 palladium producer and the fourth biggest platinum group metals miner.

“Satisfying the HSR Act antitrust condition in a timely manner is an important first step towards concluding the acquisition of Stillwater,” chief executive Neal Froneman said in the statement.

The Johannesburg-listed company, which was spun out of South Africa’s Gold Fields in 2013, spent most of last year shopping for new mines, particularly in the platinum sector.

The company first expanded into the grey precious metal used in jewellery and diesel car engines in Sep. 2015, by buying Aquarius Platinum and three Anglo American Platinum mines.

Together with reducing Sibanye’s dependence on its aging South African mines, the deal will make the company the world’s third largest palladium producer and fourth biggest platinum group metals miner, Froneman noted last month when announcing the planned acquisition.

If it goes through, the takeover will be the second-biggest South African outbound M&A transaction since 2015.

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