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Report: South African Reserve Bank OKs Sibanye-Lonmin merger

The South African Reserve Bank approved Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s proposed £285 million acquisition of Lonmin PLC, moving the transaction a step closer to completion, which is still expected in the second half of this year, Mining Weekly wrote May 15.

Sibanye's Lonmin buyout remains subject to approvals of both companies' shareholders and competition authorities in the U.K. and South Africa. Separately, Reuters wrote that the British Competition and Markets Authority will assess whether the merger would reduce competition in the sector.

A Lonmin spokeswoman said a notification was filed with the South African Competition Commission in March and with the British regulator earlier in May. Sibanye was not immediately available for a comment, but CEO Neal Froneman warned in February that the £285 million all-share takeover offer will be withdrawn if Lonmin fails to restructure its business.

Just a day earlier, Lonmin CEO Ben Magara called on authorities to approve the merger as soon as possible to save 12,600 jobs and to generate 1.5 billion South African rand in synergies for both companies.