Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Anglo American, MTN, Takeaway, AngloGold Ashanti and more. 

Anglo American

Anglo American said it’s in advanced talks over a possible takeover offer for troubled Sirius Minerals, which is struggling to build a $3.8 billion potash mine in the UK.

The possible 5.5 pence a share offer values Sirius at about £386 million (R7.1 billion), Anglo said. That’s a premium of 34 percent of Sirius’s closing share price on January 7. 

The potential acquisition of Sirius comes after chief executive officer Mark Cutifani (pictured) strengthened the balance sheet of Anglo, whose mining portfolio spans copper and iron ore to platinum and diamonds. The company said it had identified the potential of Sirius’s potash mine some time ago, given its projected scale, lifespan and profit margins.

“The project has the potential to fit well with Anglo American’s established strategy of focusing on world-class assets,” the London-listed company said Wednesday in a statement. Read more here.

MTN

Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, said it had raised as much as R14 billion in 2019 through the sale of noncore assets. The sale of noncore assets is part of its effort to raise R15 billion in three years. 

The group announced its asset realisation programme in 2019, which aims to simplify its portfolio, reduce debt and risk and improve returns. 

“Following the completion of these transactions, MTN will have realised proceeds of approximately R14bn within the first 12 months of this programme,” said group CEO Rob Shuter. Read more here

Takeaway

Takeaway.com is set to declare final victory in the five-month takeover battle for U.K. food-delivery company Just Eat, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. Investors holding more than half of Just Eat stock have indicated they’ll agree to Takeaway’s all-stock bid, which values the company at about £6 billion ($7.8 billion), according to the people. The preliminary tally includes those who plan to formally tender in the coming days, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Takeaway’s proposal requires a majority of shareholders to accept in order to be successful. Crossing the 50 percent threshold would mean the bid, which has been recommended by the Just Eat board, has prevailed over a rival cash offer from Prosus. Read more here

AngloGold Ashanti

Mining company AngloGold Ashanti and its joint venture partner IAMGOLD plan to sell their stake in the Sadiola project in Mali for $105 million, as the South African company looks to streamline its portfolio.

AngloGold and IAMGOLD Corporation, which each hold 41percent in the asset with the remaining 18 percent held by Mali’s government, plan to sell their stake in the operation, whose principal asset is the Sadiola Mine, to Allied Gold Corp.

Under the deal, which is expected to complete by the end of April, both firms will receive a cash dividend of $6.15 million and the government of Mali will receive a cash dividend of $2.7 million. Read more here.

Trustco

Namibian investment company Trustco will launch IPOs for its loss-making financial services division and fledgling diamond mining operations this year, according to a Financial Mail report. 

Deputy CEO Quinton van Rooyen confirmed at a recent virtual investor conference that both divisions could be listed in the early part of this year — with the diamond interests most likely set for a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. A successful listing of the two subsidiaries will see Trustco raise much-needed fresh capital. Trustco has been battling with reassuring investors that it has strong operational cash flows, and has recently restructured its debt structures.  Read more here

Absa

Absa said it had reached a $497 million (R7 billion) agreement with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga) to bolster its financing in seven African countries, and protect it from the potential non-return of money it places with foreign central banks.

The guarantees from Miga, a World Bank organisation with a mandate that includes promoting investment by providing guarantees against political risk, will be valid for as long as 15 years and will help protect the SA lender against risks related to the mandatory capital reserves banks are required to hold with central banks. Absa said it was the first African banking group to enter into such an agreement with Miga. Read more here.