FILE PHOTO: A miner returns from his shift in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg

South Africa's Sibanye wins final regulatory go-ahead for Lonmin deal

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa's Competition Appeal Court on Friday gave the green light to Sibanye-Stillwater's takeover of Lonmin in a deal that aims to create the world's second-largest platinum producer.

Lonmin's biggest mining union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), had filed an appeal to try to block the deal or have it re-examined in a bid to prevent job cuts following an earlier approval by the Competition Tribunal.

"The appeal fails," Judge Dennis Davis said in his written judgement.

That means Sibanye can implement the all-share deal that values Lonmin at 226 million pounds ($288.83 million) on the basis approved by the Competition Tribunal last November, said HB Senekal, a lawyer representing Sibanye who was in court.

The ruling is a victory for Sibanye in its ambitions to create the world's second-biggest platinum producer, and will cheer investors in cash-strapped Lonmin who will exchange their shares for a roughly 11 percent stake in a more stable precious metal producer.

AMCU's case centred on layoffs, a sensitive issue in South Africa, where unemployment is at 27% according to latest data.

Shareholders are set to vote on the deal on May 28.

($1 = 0.7825 pounds)

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Additional reporting by Tanisha Heiberg in Johannesburg; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

First Published: 2019-05-17 11:05:11
Updated 2019-05-17 11:23:31

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