Northam Platinum investors dilute holdings

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Independent Newspapers.

Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

Johannesburg - Holders of more than half of Northam Platinum Ltd.’s shares opted not to take up stock offered to them by the company as a strike over pay at its sole operating asset entered a sixth week.

Shareholders owning 44 percent of the Johannesburg-based company’s stock took up their rights as Northam raised 600 million rand ($58 million) at 40 rand per share, it said in a statement today.

Coronation Asset Management Pty Ltd. agreed in September to subscribe for shares not taken up by other holders in the so called clawback offer.

Operations at Northam’s Zondereinde asset, the world’s deepest platinum mine, have been halted for more than a month after the National Union of Mineworkers called a strike over wages on November 3.

The NUM, the largest representative of the mine’s almost 7,000 employees, has rejected an offer to increase pay by as much as 9 percent.

Northam announced the rights offer in September as it sought to offset the impact of an earlier strike in April that cost 192 million rand in lost revenue.

By not taking up their allocations of stock, individual shareholders will dilute their stakes in the mining company.

Talks to end the strike haven’t resumed since a meeting on December 5 failed to achieve an agreement, Ecliff Tantsi, chief negotiator for the NUM at Northam, said today by phone.

“We will wait to hear from them,” Tantsi said.

Revenue losses from the strike exceed 360 million rand, Marion Brower, a spokeswoman for Northam at Russell & Associates, said today by phone. - Bloomberg News

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