Aquarius Platinum: 58% of bonds tendered for buy-back

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Holders of 58 percent of Aquarius Platinum’s $298 million (R3.1 billion) of outstanding convertible bonds had accepted a buy-back proposal as the company announced terms of a rights offer, the operator of mines in South Africa and Zimbabwe said yesterday. Investors holding $172.6m of debt due in December next year had agreed to sell, the Perth-based company that trades in Johannesburg, London and Sydney said. Aquarius would offer investors two shares for each one they held to raise as much as $225m to fund the buy-back, it said. Aquarius, with all except one of its platinum assets in South Africa, has struggled to boost cash after shutting three mines since 2011 amid an 18 percent plunge in platinum prices. Should the sale fetch more than the $172.6m needed for the repurchase, the company “intends to retain any additional amounts to improve the Aquarius group’s liquidity in order to fund the future redemption” of bonds, it said. The shares gained 1.36 percent to close at R7.45 on the JSE. – Bloomberg

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