The head of listed equities at the Public Investment Corp (PIC) has a nice problem on his hands. Next week he will make the final decision on whether to allow Sibanye-Stillwater to merge with Lonmin. The respective investors in the platinum producers will hold separate meetings on May 28 to approve the proposed merger in which they will exchange shares. The PIC will be the biggest shareholder in both meetings. As it stands today, Lonmin needs Sibanye more than Sibanye needs Lonmin. The main attraction of the deal, first announced in December 2017, was that it would bring Lonmin’s single-asset, ageing and labour-intensive platinum group metal (PGM) assets into a larger group with a more diversified income stream. Sibanye also operates gold mines in SA, where it is the largest producer of the metal, and PGM mines in the US. Lonmin shareholders, weary of endless cash calls without seeing a return, enthusiastically welcomed the Sibanye overtures, thus avoiding certain death for a compan...

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