Petra Diamonds’ investors back restructuring

Petra Diamond’s Finsch mine in South Africa (Image: Petra Diamonds.)

Struggling Petra Diamonds (LON: PDL) said on Wednesday its investors have approved plans to restructure the business, a move that aims to provide the miner with a more stable, deleveraged capital structure to ensure its short- and long-term viability.

Over 95% of shareholders voted in favour of a resolution that includes reducing authorized share capital of the company by cutting the nominal value of all ordinary shares from 10p to 0.001p.

It also involves an increase to Petra’s authorized share capital through the creation of 8.5-million ordinary shares and the authorization for directors to allot ordinary shares up to £88,447 (being just over 8.8-million ordinary shares).

Hefty debt

Petra Diamonds’ weak financial position, a product of stagnant demand and heavy borrowing to expand its mines, particularly the iconic Cullinan, pushed it to put itself up for sale in June. Petra reversed the decision in October, opting instead for the debt-for-equity restructuring approved today.

The company noted it expected to complete the restructuring in the first quarter of 2021.

Its shares slumped by more than 80% last year as the covid-19 pandemic battered the global diamond sector, with mines forced to shut down while consumer demand continue to fall.

The diamond miner, which has three operations in South Africa and one in Tanzania, is also dealing with allegations of human rights abuses at its Williamson mine in Tanzania, resulting from the actions of its security guards.

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