South Africa's Impala to buy North American Palladium for reported $750 million
South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) announced that it would buy Canada-based North American Palladium Ltd. (NAP) for about C$1 billion ($751.77 million), marking the miner’s first purchase outside of Africa.
The prices for Palladium XPD, have doubled from a low in August of last year as tighter environmental regulations force carmakers to buy more of the precious metal that is used in vehicle exhausts to reduce emissions.
“(The acquisition) not only signals our confidence in the prevailing platinum group metals (PGM) market but it also expedites our transition to a high-level multinational producer,” Implats chief executive officer Nick Muller said on a media call.
Implats pursued North American Palladium for three years, and the deal adds the Lac des Iles Mine in Thunder Bay, Ontario to the South African company’s portfolio.
“It provides us with access to a well-established operational asset that employs bulk mining methods and occupies an attractive position on the industry cost curve,” Muller said.
Reuters reported that Canadian investment manager Brookfield Business Partners LP will get C$16 per share in cash for the about 81 percent of North American Palladium owned by the investor and its partners.
Implats said it will finance the deal using cash and a bridge loan facility.
“This transaction delivers attractive value for our shareholders and reflects five years of hard work we have devoted to realize the potential of our assets. We have successfully established Lac des Iles Mine as one of Canada’s largest, lowest-cost and safest underground mines, producing a metal that contributes to a cleaner global environment,” commented Jim Gallagher, president and chief executive officer of NAP. “Our employees, suppliers, customers and community stakeholders can all join me in feeling tremendous pride at this pivotal moment in our company’s history. By becoming a significant part of a larger, integrated global producer, we will benefit from greater access to technical, operational and financial resources with which to pursue our production, development and exploration objectives in Canada.”
Photo courtesy of Implats