Royal Bafokeng recommends shareholders accept Impala’s offer

Implats said to mull bid for Royal Bafokeng as soon as next week
Credit: Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd.

South African junior miner Royal Bafokeng on Friday recommended its shareholders accept the mandatory offer by Impala Platinum to acquire the company, paving the way to create one of the world’s biggest platinum group metals (PGM) miner.

“Implats has put on the table a fair offer for their consideration,” Steve Phiri, RBPLat’s CEO said in a statement to shareholders, recommending they accept the offer.

If the shareholders, who have until June to decide on the mandatory offer, tender their shares, then it would end several months of tussle between Impala and its rival Northam Platinum to take control of Royal Bafokeng (RBPlat).

It would also be the first major consolidation in the PGM sector after a massive rise in the price of platinum, palladium and rhodium in 2020 saw most companies announce bumper divideds, post huge profits and bring their debt to almost zero.

Impala’s mandatory offer was triggered in December when the company crossed a 35% shareholding threshold in RBPlat.

It had offered to buy the junior miner with a combination of cash and shares worth around 150 rand ($9.93) per share.

The sum offered by Impala is over eight times RBPlat’s year ending June 2021 profit and a premium of up to 58% on the day it first offered to buy the company in October.

Immediately after Impala’s offer, Northam stepped in to buy at least 32.8% of RBPlat for a price of 180.5 rand per share, an offer which analysts had said would not trigger a mandatory offer and was termed as a bad deal for minority investors in RBPlat.

According to Refinitiv data, Northam currently holds 32.5% in RBPlat.

($1 = 15.1058 rand)

(By Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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