Sirius Minerals plc Ordinary GBP 0.0025
HL comment (4 March 2020)
Sirius Minerals shareholders voted in favour of Anglo American's 5.5p all-cash offer on 3 March.
Commenting on the vote Sirius Chairman Russell Scrimshaw said;
"The positive outcome from today's meeting secures a return for shareholders, and provides greater certainty in terms of safeguarding the Project, protecting the jobs of our employees, and allowing the community, region and the UK to continue to benefit from the Project."
The shares rose 17.3% following the announcement to 5.48p.
The vote in favour of the deal means shareholders will see at least some of their investment returned. This will undoubtedly be a big disappointment to long-term shareholders, especially as the offer price is well below where the shares were trading just a year ago.
Management repeatedly stressed that without additional funding the company could not continue to operate as an independent entity and would fall into administration. That left the Sirius board with little choice but to recommend the offer and investors with little choice but to accept.
From Anglo's perspective the deal rationale is fairly straight forward. Polyhalite fits nicely into the group's 'consumer driven commodities' strategy, and its substantial balance sheet gives it access to the long term funding that Sirius has struggled to raise. That funding is vital to completing the project.
Anglo seems to be broadly in agreement with Sirius management about the long term potential of the mine, and is even supportive of the group's existing development plans. The deal looks like it leaves the Woodsmith mine project broadly unaffected, just under new owners.
The author owns shares in Sirius Minerals.
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