Lonmin’s management stands to lose control of the company to administrators if a proposed R5bn takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater fails. Lonmin, which can trace its roots back to 1909, is operating on a knife’s edge. Its mines are barely making money and the company is engaged in a three-year programme to cut 12,600 of its 33,000 employees. “Lonmin’s continuation as a going concern depends on completion of the deal,” Barclays analysts said in a note. The only thing preventing an immediate repayment of a $150m loan, depleting the company’s $167m of gross cash, was the Sibanye deal, Lonmin chief financial officer Barrie van der Merwe said on Monday. Lonmin needed R1bn a month to run the business and wanted at least $60m in its accounts, he said. “It’s very likely that if we have to repay the term loan there won’t be enough to run the business. At that point the board, as a responsible board, would likely look at mechanisms to protect the company and that means business rescue,” Van der Me...

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