Mvela denies threats to deal
CEO Pienaar dismisses market speculation about empowerment problems
MARKET SPECULATION THAT Anglo American is unhappy with Impala Platinum’s bid for Mvelaphanda Resources (Mvela)/ Northam Platinum ( Northam) has been denied by Mvela CEO Pine Pienaar. He says he and Mvela chairman Lazarus Zim cleared the deal in advance with top executives at Anglo American and Anglo Platinum.
“Lazarus Zim travelled to London to meet ( Anglo CEO) Cynthia Carroll and (Anglo chief strategy officer) Russell King. I met (Anglo Platinum CEO) Neville Nicolau and (former Anglo Platinum joint CEO) Norman Mbazima in Johannesburg.”
Pienaar adds that the terms of the transaction also change and take precedence over the circular to Northam shareholders sent out in early May. That contained a number of clauses protecting Anglo Platinum’s conversion rights in terms of black economic empowerment undertakings by Mvela, Mvela Holdings and Afripalm Resources (Zim’s holding company).
Lazarus Zim travelled to London to meet
Those allowed Anglo Platinum to buy back “50% plus 1” of all issued Northam shares from Mvela “at a 50% or 25% dis- count to their then market value, the discount depending on the likely impact of the breach on Anglo Platinum’s conversion rights”.
Anglo spokesman Pranill Ramchander says: “We don’t comment on possible transactions by other mining companies. However, should such transactions involve assets included in our empowerment transactions we believe that after any such transaction our new order mining right conversions accrued will remain secured.”
The May circular also stated the empowerment restrictions “will terminate if and when legislation is promulgated, which has the effect that Anglo Platinum’s conversion rights and credits are legally secured, notwithstanding any breach of the empowerment undertakings”.
Anglo announced at end-April it had been granted conversions for all its old order mining rights, except for two that were Anglo Platinum’s Bafokeng Rasimone and Modikwa mines.
Finweek was unable to confirm from Anglo Platinum spokesman Simon Tebello at the time of writing whether the group had actually yet received the legal documentation confirming the conversion of its rights.
Pienaar says the new requirement is that Anglo Platinum should receive a letter from the Department of Mineral & Energy Affairs (DME) that the group’s empowerment credits were irrevocably secured. “We’re waiting for that letter,” Pienaar says.
Pienaar repeats what he told Finweek previously: that the deal had been discussed with the DME prior to its announcement. “They clearly indicated they supported the deal. We wouldn’t have announced it otherwise.” (See report, page 37.)
Confident of DME support. Pine Pienaar