Anglo American is now required, by not later than February 5, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Sirius or announce that it does not intend to make one. Photo: Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters

JOHANNESBURG – Mining conglomerate Anglo American said on Wednesday that it was in advanced discussions with Sirius Minerals – a UK-based a fertilizer development company –relating to a possible offer which would value the entire issued share capital of the latter at approximately £386 million (about R7.2 billion).

Last September, Sirius, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said it was undertaking a strategic review in order to assess the development plan for its North Yorkshire polyhalite project and an appropriate financing structure to provide relevant funding. It said the review would include a broader process to seek a major strategic partner in the project.

Anglo American said on Wednesday that it had identified the project as being of potential interest some time ago, with the potential to fit well with the group's established strategy of focusing on world-class assets.

"Anglo American believes that the possible offer could provide certainty to Sirius' shareholders, whilst Anglo American brings the financial, technical and marketing resources and capabilities to progress the project over time," the company said in a statement.

"This should also be in the interests of Sirius's broader stakeholders including employees and customers."

Anglo American is now required, by not later than February 5, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Sirius or announce that it does not intend to make one.

"There can be no certainty that any offer will be made. A further statement will be made as appropriate," the company said on Wednesday.

African News Agency (ANA)