South-African company purchasing Stillwater Mining Company for b - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

South-African company purchasing Stillwater Mining Company for billions

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Last summer, Stillwater Mining Company laid off more than 100 employees, primarily at the Stillwater Mine and Columbus Processing facilities. A majority of the layoffs affected workers in Nye.

And more changes are coming.

KULR-8 spoke with Stillwater Mine Company CEO, Mick McMullen this afternoon. He says the decision came late last night around 11 p.m.

The South-African based company, Sibanya Gold, is going to purchase Stillwater for $2.2 billion.

McMullen says they expect the transaction to go through by the second quarter of 2017.

Sibanye Gold will purchase the company for $18 a share, in cash. That purchase price is subject to various approvals. He says Stillwater will continue to exist, just not on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We decided late last night that was the best offer and we think that's in the best interest of our shareholders and also I think it's good for the business as a whole because what it does it makes the company part of a larger more diversified group," he said.

A press release from Northern Plains says they are committed to stand up for Montanans and work in the best interest of our communities.

I reached out to many employees and family members on Facebook. They say they aren't sure where this leaves them.

McMullen says they were contacting staff all morning. But one family says they found out when checking the stock price.

Some families remain optimistic. They say Sibanya Gold Mines at a much higher cost per ounce and hopes they will be agreeable when it comes to the cost of living increase negotiations with the union.

But some families are skeptical about the buyout and worried about hours getting cut.

McMulIlen says current jobs aren't at risk and says it's "business as usual."

He says Sibanye can learn what they do with making things safer and dealing with environmental practices, then bring those lessons back to South-Africa.

Stillwater Mining Company is being acquired by Sibanye Gold Limited for $2.2 billion according to a press release. The purchase was announced Thursday night.

According to their website, Sibanye is the "largest individual producer of gold from South Africa." According to the news release, Sibanye and Stillwater Mining expect the transition, if approved, would be closed in the second quarter of 2017.

The purchase must be approved by Stillwater and Sibanye shareholders before being finalized. 

During the summer of 2015, Stillwater Mining laid of 119 employees citing a company loss. Most of those laid-off employees were from the mine located in Nye. The company reported they would monitor market conditions and make business adjustments as necessary as the price of precious metals dropped.

Montana's Stillwater Mining Company is the largest primary producer of platinum group metals outside South Africa and Russia and is also Montana's largest mining company.