By Phila Mzamo
March 15, 2017 - The two main bidders for Anglo American’s South African coal mines plan to list their companies if they are successful in buying the operations, according to three people familiar with the plans.
Phuthuma Nhleko, and Masimong Minerals are seen as the leading bidders to purchase the mines that produce coal for the local market, with offers ranging from R2 billion to R3 billion, said two sources, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
The sources added that the black-owned companies both plan to sell shares if they win the assets.
South Africa is pushing companies to boost black involvement in the economy to make up for discrimination during apartheid. State-owned power producer Eskom Holdings, says it wants suppliers to be black-controlled.
Anglo decided in February 2016 to unload more assets after commodity prices plunged and as it sought to pay debt built up during years of expansion. It’s since scaled back those plans as prices rebounded and will probably keep its coal-exporting mines in the continent’s most-industrialised economy.
The New Vaal, Kriel and New Denmark mines mainly sell coal to Eskom and together account for about half of Anglo’s South African coal production. A final decision on the sale will be made before the end of the month, a source said.
Phembani would add the mines to its other coal investments that include stakes in Exxaro Resources and South32, said one of the sources. Masimong Minerals is chaired by Mike Teke, the president of South Africa’s Chamber of Mines. Phembani and Masimong Minerals declined to comment when contacted by email.
“Anglo American continues to progress the sale of its Eskom-tied, domestic thermal-coal operations,” Pranill Ramchander, spokesperson, Anglo, said by phone, declining to comment further on the bidders.