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Lonmin eyes $800m in rights issue

Oct 30 2012 09:41
Reuters

Company Data

Lonmin plc [JSE:LON]

Last traded 15
Change 0
% Change -2
Cumulative volume 26328
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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London - Strike-hit South African miner Lonmin [JSE:LON] said it planned to raise $800m in a rights issue and had signed amendments to its debt facilities to help it avoid a possible covenant breach next year.

Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum miner, which has one of the most pressured balance sheets in the sector, had warned that it may need to issue new shares to help shore up its finances after a deadly strike hit output.

The company said that the proposed rights issue was underpinned by a standby underwriting agreement and that it had also amended a deal with its lenders to remove earnings-related covenants.

Analysts had raised concerns that the company could breach such covenants at the latest test but Lonmin said on Tuesday that it did not expect to do so, although it warned had it not taken action there was a danger over the March test.

“With the standby underwriting and amended debt facilities signed we have taken two decisive steps on our way to delivering that and we are confident about our financial security,” chaiperson Roger Phillimore said in a statement.

Lonmin’s Johannesburg-listed shares were down 1.8% at 07:39 GMT, paring earlier gains of as much as 4%.

The company said that production slumped 45.7% in the three months to September 30. It had already warned that it would miss its 2012 output target after a strike left 44 dead in August.

South African mines have been hit by months of labour unrest which have threatened growth in Africa’s biggest economy and drawn criticism of President Jacob Zuma for his handling of the most damaging strikes since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Lonmin’s miners have since returned to work and the company said that the ramp up in production was going better than expected.

Lonmin shares fell more than 5% in early trade following news of the rights issue.

At 07:08 GMT, Lonmin shares were down 4.76% to R64, after earlier hitting a record low of R63.


lonmin  |  rights issue

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