S&P Global Ratings assigned Sibanye Gold a preliminary B+ credit rating for its pending $1bn bond issue and gave it a positive outlook as it advances its strategy to become a major global platinum group metals (PGM) producer. Sibanye is wrapping up the financing of a $2.65bn bridging loan to pay $2.2bn cash for Stillwater Mining, a US-based palladium and platinum miner, and adding output to its large platinum production base in SA, leapfrogging it into third place as a leading PGM producer. “The affirmative credit ratings endorse Sibanye’s maturing business model and the value that is being created by our recent acquisitions,” said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman. Sibanye is funding the bridging loan through the issue of the bond, which should be finalised before the end of June, a $1bn rights issue, with the balance of the loan financed before the end of 2017 through a streaming deal on platinum production from Stillwater, a convertible bond, rights issue or debt.

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