Northam Platinum secures R17 billion deal for RBPlat under the nose of Implats

Northam Platinum Holdings has trumped fellow JSE-listed miner Impala Platinum’s (Implats) agreement to buy out Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) with its own R17 billion deal for a major 33.3% stake in the South African PGMs producer.

The controversial new sale of shares agreement between Northam and RBPlat comes just two weeks after Implats had announced that talks were underway for it to acquire 100% of the issued ordinary shares of RBPlat.

It marks another painful turn in Implats’ decade-long quest to buy a smaller rival that owns assets key to prolonging the life of its own mines in South Africa. The company has made at least six former attempts to acquire RBPlat, which is majority owned by Royal Bafokeng Holdings — the investment arm of the Bafokeng Nation.

Northam CEO Paul Dunne said: “The transaction concluded with Royal Bafokeng Holdings gives Northam a strategically important shareholding in RBPlat, creating significant long-term optionality for Northam.

“It aligns perfectly with our long-term growth, sustainability and diversification strategy and the introduction of Royal Bafokeng Holdings as a significant shareholder further strengthens our empowerment credentials.

“In particular, we believe the complementary metals mix of RBPlat, with a higher relative platinum contribution, fits well within the broader Northam metals basket,” he added.

The deal will make Northam the world’s largest platinum miner; providing access to RBPlat’s low-cost, mechanised assets – the only PGM reserves still available for mining in South Africa – near Rustenburg.