Northam Platinum on a big drive for cash
Northam, which is in the throes of a growth programme, withheld its dividend again, but reported sound results to underpin its strategy
Northam Platinum is pushing its mines and projects hard to cut debt, fund growth and, probably most importantly, position it to address the repayment of its empowerment structure. The bottom line of Northam's strategy is to generate cash, with a view to more than tripling its share price to the R170/share and giving it the firepower up to 2025 to buy the preference shares underlying the empowerment transaction. If the share price doesn't get to R170 then Northam has either a cash payment to make up the gap between the prevailing price and the R170 mark or it will have to issue shares. Analysts said the drag on Northam's shares relative to its peers stemmed from this aspect of what was a remarkably complex empowerment transaction, which was essentially a vendor financed transaction with an upfront payment of R4bn to Northam to give it the cash to pursue its growth strategy.
Chris Nicholson from RMB Morgan Stanley said Northam's interim results on Friday were "very solid". "On p...