Lonmin says most of share issue has been taken up

LONMIN shareholders have taken up their rights for 70.93% of the hugely discounted rights issue of nearly 27-billion shares to raise $407m to urgently recapitalise the company and lower its debt.

At the close of the offer on Thursday, Lonmin said it had received valid acceptances for 19.1-billion shares at 21.4c each, which represented a 94% discount at the time Lonmin unveiled the rights issue on November 9.

The new shares started trading on Friday. The rights issue will inject $369m into the company after expenses.

Lonmin has applied to the Johannesburg and London bourses where it is listed to have the shares consolidated on a 100 to one basis from December 18.

The underwriters, HSBC, JPMorgan Cazenove and Standard Bank, will try to find buyers for the remaining 7.85-billion shares by December 14.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which owns 7.36% of Lonmin’s shares and manages the state’s pension funds, had been joined by other large shareholders, which have subunderwritten the rights issue underwritten by the three banks. It could result in the PIC increasing its stake in the world’s third-largest platinum miner.

The 617.6-million shares allocated to the Bapo ba Mogale community, which converted a royalty payment to shares in Lonmin to give it a 3.3% stake in the company, will be listed on the JSE and the London bourse, retaining a critical component of the Lonmin’s black economic empowerment ownership.

The holders of 54% of the 587-million shares in issue gave 88% approval in November to all five resolutions voted on in London to give effect to the rights issue.

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