South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is planning to ask for two seats on the board of Lonmin by the end of 2017 and has suggested the platinum miner move its main listing to Johannesburg, its chief executive said.
Lonmin, majority-owned by state-run PIC and listed in London since 1961, has been hobbled by persistently low platinum prices, rising costs and strikes, forcing it to tap investors three times in the last eight years.
PIC, which manages $150 billion of government employee pensions, raised its stake in Lonmin in 2015 to 30 percent from 7 percent after a rights issue was undersubscribed.
“We are a 30 percent shareholder, so we can ask for at least two board seats. We will do it soon. It has become an urgent matter now,” CEO Daniel Matjila told Reuters in an interview in London, adding: “They may put (in) conditions like asking for more money”.
“We are more concerned about leadership. The chairman and the board should understand the challenges the company is facing and the role of the board and the executive should be clearly defined,” he said.
Lonmin spokeswoman Wendy Tlou said in a statement: “We would not want to comment on any statement the PIC might wish to make as we do engage with the PIC regularly as a shareholder.”