Royal Bafokeng shares gain after green light for R860m merger

Cape Town – A merger worth about R860m between two platinum mines in the North West province has been conditionally approved by the Competition Tribunal.

According to a statement from the tribunal issued on Tuesday afternoon, the merger is between Royal Bafokeng Platinum [JSE:RBP] and Maseve mine, a platinum mine located near the city of Rustenburg.

Royal Bafokeng Platinum will acquire Maseve's concentrator plant and certain surface assets for $58m (R714m) as well as the total issued capital of Maseve mine to the value of $12m (R148m), Royal Bafokeng said in a note to shareholders on Wednesday.

The group's share price gained just over 9% on Tuesday at around 16:30, after the news of the approval was made public. At 12:00 on Wednesday Royal Bafokeng shares were trading at R32.99, up 0.5% on the day. 

The terms of the merger were decided by November 23 2017 and the mines had since waited for approval from the tribunal, which was granted this week.

The conditions for the merger are that Royal Bafokeng employs 115 staff members at its concentrator plant, and gives preference to retrenched employees, the tribunal explained.

“To the extent that these employees are no longer available, Royal Bafokeng Platinum will endeavour to source employees from the local community in Rustenburg.”

Royal Bafokeng will have to take over 20 permanent employees from Maseve, and the mine should also give preference to retrenched employees for future job opportunities.  

Royal Bafokeng Platinum is controlled by the Royal Bafokeng Nation Development Trust, while Maseve has been under the control of the company Platinum Group Metals. Development of the Maseve mine started in 2010 and it was commissioned in February 2016.

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