Paul Dunne. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Paul Dunne. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Northam Platinum, the producer of the precious metal that has been buying back shares from its black empowerment partner, says it is in talks to bring the arrangement to an early conclusion.

SA’s fourth-biggest platinum producer has already bought 70% of preference shares held by Zambezi Platinum. That reduces a potential liability in 2025 when its black investors are permitted to divest; Northam would need to pay the difference if the shares fell below their initial acquisition price of R41 each.

Still, it has hindered the company from paying ordinary shareholders dividends. The shares closed trade on the JSE at R158.65.

“Northam has taken the initiative to enter into proactive discussions with Zambezi Platinum with a view to secure a successful and sustainable outcome,” CEO Paul Dunne said in a statement on Monday.

The company could maintain its black shareholding levels through the deal, the company said without giving more detail.

If completed, the deal could benefit Lazarus Zim, Sipho Mseleku and Brian Mosehla, the sole directors of three companies that own 55.4% of Zambezi.

Zambezi, held a 31.4% in Northam, a stake now valued at about R25bn, at the time of the initial arrangement in May, 2015.

Bloomberg

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