[Ferro-Alloys.com] Mining company Assore, which has been listed on the JSE since 1950, has announced a transaction that will result in the minorities in the company being bought out and the company delisting from the exchange.
Assore CEO Charles Walters said the very low liquidity of the share meant that many institutional shareholders could not easily invest in the company and those who were invested could not easily trade out of the share.
Assmang, which Assore owns jointly with PatriceMotsepe’s African Rainbow Minerals, provides three of Assore’s four commodities – iron-ore, manganese ore and manganese alloys – and Assore’s exposure to chrome ore is through its ownership of the Dwarsrivier chrome mine.
Assore’s current shareholding structure comprises 52.4% belonging to Oresteel Investments, owned by the Sacco family and Sumitomo, of Japan, and a 26.1% black economic empowerment (BEE) shareholding, with the remaining 21.5% free float held by various minorities.
Of this small free float, 4.1% is held by various members of the Sacco family in their individual capacities. This leaves only 17.4% as a true minority free float.
The board is proposing that the company use its internal cash resources (it recently reported R8-billion net cash on its balance sheet as at end-December)to buy back the 17.4% of its shares not held by Oresteel, BEE shareholders or the Sacco family.
The offer price is R320 per share, excluding the interim dividend of R7 per share for a total consideration of R7.8-billion, a 27% premium. Following the transaction, the shareholdings of Oresteel, the BEE investors and the Sacco family in Assore will be increased pro rata to 63.4%, 31.6% and 5% respectively, and the company will be delisted from the JSE and run privately.
Assmang’s mines are the Beeshoek and Khumani iron-ore mines and Black Rock’s Nchwaning and Gloria manganese ore mines, in the Northern Cape.
Its manganese alloys plants include the Cato Ridge Alloys smelter and Machadodorp Works, in South Africa, and the Sakura Ferroalloys smelter, in Malaysia