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Report: Sibanye's top shareholders expected to approve merger with Lonmin

Three of Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s largest investors will likely vote in favor of its proposed acquisition of Lonmin PLC, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 31, citing unnamed sources.

The investors, which hold more than a third of Sibanye shares, are Gold One Group Ltd., Public Investment Corp., and Exor Investments UK LLP.

Sibanye investors could vote in December if the transaction receives approval from South Africa's competition authorities. British regulator Competition and Markets Authority unconditionally approved the merger in June.

Gold One owns around a 19.35% stake in Sibanye, while PIC and Exor hold 9.36% and 7.82%, respectively.

The transaction requires over 50% approval by Sibanye investors, in addition to Lonmin shareholders' approval.

James Wellsted, a Sibanye spokesperson said the company expects that its shareholders will recognize the rationale behind the proposed takeover.

"We feel if there are no onerous conditions placed on us, they will support the transaction," Wellsted added.

PIC and Exor Investments declined to comment, while Gold One did not immediately respond to emailed questions, the newswire noted.

Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman warned earlier that investors cannot be expected to approve the deal if adds more to the company's debt. Sibanye, however, said recently that the deal remains on track.

"There is a recognition this is good for Lonmin, it's good for us — that's why our shareholders will support it," Froneman said in an Aug. 23 interview.

Lonmin reported that its net cash rose to US$23 million at the end of the third quarter from US$17 million in the second quarter, while one of the sources said the balance has continued to increase since then.