South African Impala Platinum offers $1 billion for North American Palladium

TORONTO — South African miner Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. says it is buying Toronto-based North American Palladium Inc. for about $1 billion in cash.

It says it will pay $16 per share to Brookfield Business Partners LP, the majority shareholder with 81 per cent of the stock, and $19.74 per share for the remaining stake, resulting in an average price per share of $16.77.

North American Palladium has been producing palladium, a lustrous white material valued for its use in pollution-control devices for cars and trucks, for 25 years at its Lac des Iles Mine at Thunder Bay, Ont.

Impala Platinum CEO Nico Muller says his company plans to deliver on the target company’s medium-term production plans and exploration potential, citing its shares in two exploration properties.

He says his company believes the palladium market will remain in a structural deficit in the medium term, which should support “stronger-for-longer pricing.”

Closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter, subject to North American Palladium shareholder approval and customary conditions.

“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,” said NAP CEO Jim Gallagher in a news release.

“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.”

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