Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Sirius Minerals PLC https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Sirius Minerals PLC RSS feed en Tue, 16 Jul 2019 00:59:53 +0100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification of major holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190711161451_14145660/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:14:51 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190711161451_14145660/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Standard form for notification of major holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190710084026_14143183/ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 08:40:26 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190710084026_14143183/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Standard form for notification of major holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190708070744_14139258/ Mon, 08 Jul 2019 07:07:44 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190708070744_14139258/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals confirms US$3.8bn stage 2 financing on track to complete by end of September ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/223176/sirius-minerals-confirms-us38bn-stage-2-financing-on-track-to-complete-by-end-of-september-223176.html The financing and construction of Sirius Minerals PLC’s (LON:SXX) huge Woodsmith fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire is progressing to plan.

Back in May, the FTSE 250 group raised US$825mln from investors as part of a wider US$3.8bn stage 2 financing that would fund the project through to completion.

READ: Sirius lands major supply deal with Indian farmers co-op

The rest of the money – comprising a US$500mln bond which in turn would unlock a US$2.5bn revolving credit facility from JP Morgan – remains on track to complete before the end of September, Sirius confirmed today.

The three main components that need to be in place ahead of the launching of the bond are: finalising the bond offering document, completion of the revolving credit facility paperwork, and finally, the receipt of a public rating from the rating agencies.

On brink of 'major re-rating'

According to City broker Liberum, Sirius bosses are hopeful of getting these bits finished in time to allow them to kick off the roadshow – where they promote the bond to institutional investors – ahead of the August holidays, although that is dependent on third parties.

“Completion of the US$500mln bond would unlock the US$2.5bn revolver from JPM and largely eliminate financing risk, a significant component of its 78% discount to net present value (68p),” explained analyst Richard Franks.

Shore Capital agreed, saying in a note to clients: “We expect the coming Senior Debt Event to catalyse a major re-rating of the shares, as it is in our view effectively the key to unlocking Sirius’s vast value potential.”

Construction ‘running on time and on budget’

On the ground, construction of the mine is “advancing well”, with the company on course to achieve first polyhalite in 2021.

As well as being on time, construction is also running to budget, Sirius said.

“The successful raising of US$825mln of funding during the quarter marked the completion of the first part of our stage 2 financing,” said chief executive Chris Fraser.

“We are making good progress with the remaining components of our stage 2 financing package, which we expect to complete by the end of September this year in line with guidance, and which will enable us to bring our multi-nutrient POLY4 product to our customers to meet the expanding needs of the global agriculture industry.”

Shares were down 1.2% to 14.8p in afternoon trading.

--Adds share price--

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Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:50:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/223176/sirius-minerals-confirms-us38bn-stage-2-financing-on-track-to-complete-by-end-of-september-223176.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Q2 2019 Progress Update ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190702070004_14132367/ Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:00:04 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190702070004_14132367/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Blocklisting Six Monthly Return ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190701163323_14132040/ Mon, 01 Jul 2019 16:33:23 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190701163323_14132040/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Blocklisting Six Monthly Return ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190701163140_14132038/ Mon, 01 Jul 2019 16:31:40 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190701163140_14132038/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190628153336_14129757/ Fri, 28 Jun 2019 15:33:36 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190628153336_14129757/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190628070002_14128025/ Fri, 28 Jun 2019 07:00:02 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190628070002_14128025/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals capital raises have not been positive for shareholders on a simple per share basis, so what’s next? ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/222950/sirius-minerals-capital-raises-have-not-been-positive-for-shareholders-on-a-simple-per-share-basis-so-whats-next-222950.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has made significant corporate and operational strides during 2019 but the UK mine developer’s actions have not been positive for shareholders – not, at least, on a simple per share basis.

The substantial project funding undertaken in recent months – selling around US$1.14bn of equity and convertible debt - dealt heavy dilution to the smaller, retail, longer term investors that have backed the company since it was only an ambitious explorer.

READ: Sirius Minerals lands major supply deal with Indian farmers co-op

For context, the company is now near to closing some US$3bn of senior debt financing in the coming months, and, in doing so, Sirius will bring itself to the cusp of delivering a ‘world class’ scale mining operation.

Setting aside this mining sector specific achievement, it is especially notable that it will also mark the completion of one of Britain’s largest engineering and infrastructure projects for decades – which is all the more impressive given that it is funded by the private sector and delivered by a pre-revenue ‘growth company’.

Nevertheless, a simplistic look only at the price of a single share in the company indicates this has been a less than fruitful period for longstanding investors in Sirius.

At the current price of 14.18p Sirius has a market value of almost £1bn (£993.9mln to be precise).

The price of a single share has, however, fallen by just over 33% to date in 2019.

What lies ahead

It is perhaps unsurprising that stock watchers like CMC Market analyst David Madden are now wondering what lays ahead for Sirius and its long tail of private ‘retail’ investors.

Posing the question “can the company claw back heavy losses”, Madden acknowledged that the financing was crucial to the existence and expansion of the company, and that management has been “caught in a tight position”,

“Now that the capital question has been answered, the onus is on Sirius to continue development in Yorkshire,” Madden said in a note.

“Given the aggressive sell-off in the Sirius Minerals share price since April, any negative updates are likely to be met with further declines, but if the stock can hold above the 13p mark, it would be well positioned to claw back some of the recent losses.”

Madden also pointed to a more specialised expert view, highlighting that mining sector analysts at Credit Suisse recently upgraded their stance on Sirius to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’.

“The bank noted that traditionally the consensus estimates were above the company’s forecasts, and therefore expectations were high,” the CMC analyst added.

“Now the Swiss finance house feels that analysts’ predictions are in line with the group’s guidance, and Credit Suisse believes Sirius are more likely to top forecasts.”       

Evidently, Madden went some way to answering his own question, and, indeed, the expert prognosis appears quite positive.

It is plain to see that Sirius has and continues to make substantial progress and it is clear that substantial value is being created.

The important questions left to answer is how quickly will the operational progress translate into revenue and profitability, and, who is best placed to benefit as the company makes its transition to large scale producer.

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Thu, 27 Jun 2019 12:05:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/222950/sirius-minerals-capital-raises-have-not-been-positive-for-shareholders-on-a-simple-per-share-basis-so-whats-next-222950.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Standard form for notification of major holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190626112630_14125421/ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 11:26:30 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190626112630_14125421/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification of Major Holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190625112600_14123578/ Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:26:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190625112600_14123578/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190613175250_14110521/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 17:52:50 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190613175250_14110521/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals lands major supply deal with Indian farmers co-op ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/221938/sirius-minerals-lands-major-supply-deal-with-indian-farmers-co-op-221938.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has unveiled a new supply deal with a customer in India, further boosting its contracted sales ahead of its mine start-up.

The deal, described as a ‘major take or pay’ agreement, sees Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) take significant volumes of the POLY4 fertiliser product over an eleven year term.

Volumes are expected to reach 1mln tonnes per year by year eight, with options in place to increase supply further to 1.25mln tonnes.

READ: Sirius Minerals shares look sharply undervalued

IFFCO – one of the world’s largest co-ops with 36,000 members representing up to 55 million Indian farmers - has a break clause after year eight and there is also a 10-year extension option which is subject to mutual agreement.

"We are delighted to be embarking on a long-term partnership with IFFCO, an organisation with a wide reach and a proud history in India and a substantial profile in the global fertilizer market,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius managing director.

“POLY4 can undoubtedly have a hugely positive impact on Indian agriculture, both in terms of yields and sustainability and we look forward to working with IFFCO to deliver these benefits for Indian farmers for many years to come."

IFFCO chief executive Dr Udai Shanker Awasthi, meanwhile, added: “POLY4 offers a unique opportunity for IFFCO to help deliver our vision of increasing farmer's incomes by increasing crop productivity and the balanced use of energy efficient fertilizers. 

“The multi-nutrient characteristics of POLY4 are well suited to Indian soils and crops. 

“Having seen the ongoing crop science work and results, I know that this partnership between Sirius and IFFCO will have an important role to play for farmers in improving yield, quality and profitability of crops.”

The agreement adds to the London-listed group’s existing supply deals. Prior to the IFFCO deal, Sirius had 10.7mln tonnes worth of contracted sales per year across multiple customer agreements.

Critical financing juncture

In a note to clients, analysts at Shore Capital pointed out that Sirius is now at the crucial juncture of its US$3.8bn Stage 2 financing package for the construction of its paradigm-shifting North Yorkshire polyhalite project in England.

Having successfully completed the first phase of this package, raising US$425m of equity and a further US$400m via the issuance of eight-year convertible bonds, the analysts said they now look to the US$3.0bn ‘Senior Debt Event’, which they expect will be completed over the summer of 2019.

The analysts said: “We expect the Senior Debt Event to catalyse a major re-rating of the shares, as it is in our view effectively the key to unlocking Sirius’s vast value potential.  

“Beyond that, while Sirius would still be some years from becoming cash generative, an investment in the company should become progressively de-risked and enjoy significant value uplift as it advances towards production, we believe.”

In afternoon trading, Sirius shares were 0.6% lower at 15.80p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

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Wed, 12 Jun 2019 07:26:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/221938/sirius-minerals-lands-major-supply-deal-with-indian-farmers-co-op-221938.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Supply agreement signed in India ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190612070005_14107273/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 07:00:05 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190612070005_14107273/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190603123416_14096392/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:34:16 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190603123416_14096392/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Issue of shares pursuant to convertible bonds ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190603070359_14095261/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 07:03:59 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190603070359_14095261/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block Listing Application ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190603070010_14095193/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 07:00:10 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190603070010_14095193/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190531070003_14093228/ Fri, 31 May 2019 07:00:03 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190531070003_14093228/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190529070007_14089948/ Wed, 29 May 2019 07:00:07 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190529070007_14089948/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification Of Major Holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190524180733_14087605/ Fri, 24 May 2019 18:07:33 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190524180733_14087605/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification of Major Holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190523120042_14085400/ Thu, 23 May 2019 12:00:42 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190523120042_14085400/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification Of Major Holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190523115504_14085386/ Thu, 23 May 2019 11:55:04 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190523115504_14085386/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals shares look sharply undervalued, Liberum analyst says ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220848/sirius-minerals-shares-look-sharply-undervalued-liberum-analyst-says-220848.html Sirius Minerals PLC’s (LON:SXX) financing risks are behind it and the UK mine developer’s shares now look “sharply undervalued”, that’s according to Liberum analyst Richard Knights.

With a target price of 40p the stockbroker suggests some 167% upside to the current Sirius market price of around 15p.

In recent weeks the company launched a near £4bn sequence of project financing – since then it has completed the first US$825mln raise, via the issue of equity and convertible debt.

READ: Sirius Minerals share sale sees strong demand

Liberum’s Knights, in a note, highlighted that Sirius is now “on the cusp of finalising” the funding package.

“The company plans to issue a $500m high yield bond in the coming months which will unlock the remaining $2.5bn credit facility from JP Morgan, needed to complete the project. With financing risk behind it we think the stock looks sharply undervalued,” the analyst said.

“In our view financing risk is a hefty component of Sirius's 78% discount to NPV (68p). With a line drawn under dilution, only construction risk and market risk remain.”

Share sale was oversubscribed

On Monday, Sirius announced that the open offer portion of its new funding package has now closed and said that that the shareholder equity sale was oversubscribed.

The FTSE 250-listed firm said, therefore, it would be issuing the full 218mln allocation of new shares which are priced at 15p each, in line with the placing shares launched in early May.

"We are encouraged by the oversubscribed open offer, which underlines the strong equity market support for our comprehensive markets-led solution for stage 2 funding,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius Minerals' managing director.

“Today's result takes us another step closer to bringing POLY4 to the global agriculture industry and I would like to thank shareholders and partners for their continued support. We now turn our focus to delivering the next phase of the funding package, with planning for the high yield bond well underway," Fraser added.

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Thu, 23 May 2019 09:27:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220848/sirius-minerals-shares-look-sharply-undervalued-liberum-analyst-says-220848.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Admission of New Ordinary Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190523082145_14084921/ Thu, 23 May 2019 08:21:45 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190523082145_14084921/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Convertible Bond Offering Circular ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190521143234_14082244/ Tue, 21 May 2019 14:32:34 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190521143234_14082244/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of General Meeting ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190521130746_14082143/ Tue, 21 May 2019 13:07:46 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190521130746_14082143/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals says open offer share sale sees strong demand, closes oversubscribed ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220650/sirius-minerals-says-open-offer-share-sale-sees-strong-demand-closes-oversubscribed-220650.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has revealed that the open offer portion of its new funding package has now closed and said that that the shareholder equity sale was oversubscribed.

The FTSE 250-listed firm said, therefore, it would be issuing the full 218mln allocation of new shares which are priced at 15p each, in line with the placing shares launched in early May.

READ: Sirius Minerals is at a ‘critical juncture’ as financing efforts continue

"We are encouraged by the oversubscribed open offer, which underlines the strong equity market support for our comprehensive markets-led solution for stage 2 funding,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius Minerals' managing director.

“Today's result takes us another step closer to bringing POLY4 to the global agriculture industry and I would like to thank shareholders and partners for their continued support. We now turn our focus to delivering the next phase of the funding package, with planning for the high yield bond well underway," Fraser added.

Project funding

Sirius launched a US$400mln share placing earlier this month as part of a US$3.8bn project funding plan, and it said the equity sale would be priced at between 15p and 18p each. Last Wednesday, it revealed that the shares would be sold at 15p.

Whilst the share offering was priced at the bottom of range, there evidently was strong demand for the new shares as Sirius revealed that it raised an additional US$25mln from the placing. Overall, the company is selling around 1.96bn new shares which equates to 28% of the company's enlarged share capital.

Later, in the summer, Sirius intends to secure US$3bn of purely debt based financing, first with a US$500mln Senior bond issue followed by a revolving credit facility.

Significantly, the phased funding package has a number of contingent elements so the completion of each comes with a certain amount of de-risking for the company and the project.

Critical juncture

In a note to clients, analysts at ShoreCap said in their view "the next few weeks represent THE critical juncture for the Stage 2 financing."

They added: "Successfully completing the Senior Debt Event is, effectively, the key to unlocking Sirius’s vast potential and, we expect, should catalyse a major re-rating of the shares.

"Beyond that, while Sirius would still be some years from becoming cash generative, an investment in the company should become progressively de-risked and enjoy significant value uplift as it advances towards production, we believe."

in afternoon trading, shares in Sirius Minerals were 2.8% lower at 15.46p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

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Tue, 21 May 2019 07:27:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220650/sirius-minerals-says-open-offer-share-sale-sees-strong-demand-closes-oversubscribed-220650.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Results of Open Offer ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190521070021_14080963/ Tue, 21 May 2019 07:00:21 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190521070021_14080963/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company - Replacement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190516144834_14077226/ Thu, 16 May 2019 14:48:34 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190516144834_14077226/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - 2019 Notice of Annual General Meeting ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190514134718_14073583/ Tue, 14 May 2019 13:47:18 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190514134718_14073583/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals financing clears some hurdles but full package 'by no means guaranteed' ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219985/sirius-minerals-financing-clears-some-hurdles-but-full-package--by-no-means-guaranteed--219985.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has announced its US$3.8bn stage-two funding package but is “not out of the woods”, said investment bank Berenberg as it cut its target price on the shares.

With the company having been in danger of running out of cash to be able to keep up spending on the development of its Woodsmith polyhalite mine by the end of next month, securing financing has been the primary focus for Sirius over the past year and a half.

READ: Norwegian sovereign wealth fund buys into Sirius Minerals on open market

The full financing package, which includes a signed-off share placing of US$425mln (£327mln), a US$2.5bn revolving credit facility from JPMorgan, a US$500mln high yield bond and a convertible bond offering, is designed to covers the entire development capital required by this highly complex project.

Before production is due to start in 2021, the company has to sink two 1.5km shafts near Whitby in North Yorkshire and a 40km tunnel to transport its polyhalite all the way from the site to the port at Teesside, from where the fertiliser product will be shipped around the world under the POLY4 brand.

Berenberg said the package “clears some hurdles surrounding the project” but the full financing “is by no means guaranteed and the company remains in a crucial phase to secure long-term funding”.

Berenberg analyst Rikin Patel said the composition and terms of the package did not match with his best-case scenario, noting that the terms of the convertible bond state that the funds will be held in escrow until the company is able to secure the revolving credit facility which is in turn contingent on successfully issuing the US$500mln high yield bond.

“If the company is not able to do this, there is no guarantee that alternative methods of financing can be secured, and as such the company will again run into cash flow issues.”

Berenberg remains positive on long-term concept

However, Patel remained confident that Sirius can secure the funding from the high yield market, even though this will likely come at an elevated interest cost, which he was now factoring into his forecast model and, while he cut his target price to 35p from 40p, reiterated his 'buy' rating.

“While shareholders may face some dilution in the short term, fundamentally, we remain positive on the project’s longer-term credentials. The economics and valuation are still favourable, even with conservative assumptions on pricing, volumes and capex,” the analyst said.

Berenberg estimates that project should generate an internal rate of return of 15% with a price/net present value ratio of 0.4 times.

“Furthermore, we remain positive on the long-term success of its POLY4 product. Our argument is predicated on the idea that polyhalite can offer a cheaper alternative to existing speciality fertiliser products like SOP (sulphate of potash). With farmer incomes under pressure, we think speciality products like POLY4 can grow share in the market given the potential yield benefits, especially for higher-value crops.”

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Thu, 09 May 2019 14:01:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219985/sirius-minerals-financing-clears-some-hurdles-but-full-package--by-no-means-guaranteed--219985.html
<![CDATA[News - Norwegian sovereign wealth fund buys into Sirius Minerals on open market ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219902/norwegian-sovereign-wealth-fund-buys-into-sirius-minerals-on-open-market-219902.html Norway’s US$1trn sovereign wealth fund has snapped up shares in Yorkshire-based polyhalite miner Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) on the open market as the UK company looks to secure long-term funding for its huge underground mine.

It was confirmed this week that the Oslo-based fund, the largest such fund in the world, now owns a 3.5% stake in the London-listed outfit. The shares are held under the name of Norges Bank, the country’s central bank, which manages the wealth fund.

READ: Sirius Minerals is now at a ‘critical juncture’ as financing efforts continue

The Norwegians snaffled a total of 166.52mln shares, completing the purchase on Thursday 2 May. Of this, 115.45mln shares were held directly by the fund, representing 2.4% of Sirius’s shares, plus another 51.08mln that was said to be on loan. Many funds that buy shares on a long basis also loan some of their shares to hedge funds and others who want to take short positions, with a right to recall them.  

This came a day after Sirius, as part of a planned US$3.8bn project financing plan, confirmed that its brokers had tied up a US$425mln placing with City institutions at a price of 15p per share. The placing was priced at the bottom of the 15-18p range previously indicated, even though the funding was said to have been oversubscribed.

Sirius’s broker Shore Capital would not confirm if Norges Bank had been in direct contact, but confirmed that shares from the placing will not be issued until after the group’s shareholders convene for a general meeting, which is expected to be on 23 May.

The Norges Bank share purchase was therefore made on the open market, though at what price at it has not confirmed. Having hit a three-year low of 15.5p on the Wednesday, the shares rose to a daily high of 17.15p on the following day and fell as low as 16.31p, before closing at 16.53p.               

But as part of this stage of the finanacing, the Norwegian fund will along with all existing shareholders be able to take part in the open offer element of the fundraising, also priced at 15p apiece, with each shareholder having the opportunity to buy one share for every 22 they already own.

READ: Oilers shaken as Norwegian sovereign wealth fund decides to dump sector stocks

The purchase of shares in Sirius comes as the sovereign wealth fund pivots away from its historic focus on oil. Originally formed as Norway’s ‘oil fund’ with the piles of cash generated by the country’s vast petroleum reserves, the Government Pension Fund Global, as it is officially known, has been told by the Norwegian government to focus less on oil and gas exploration and production companies.

Sirius is raising funds to continue development of its Woodsmith mine in North Yorkshire, which will produce polyhalite, a mineral that is seen as an attractive multi-nutrient fertiliser and for which it has secured a number of off-take agreements.

Analyst positive on long-term project

This week, Berenberg analyst Rikin Patel said the long-awaited stage-two financing package, which as well as the US$425mln share placing, also includes a proposed convertible bond offering, a US$500mln high yield bond and a revolving credit facility providing US$2.5bn of finance, would cover the entire development capital required by the Woodsmith project and “goes some way to de-risking the viability of the project”.

The company is not out of the woods yet, Berenberg said. “While this package clears some hurdles surrounding the project, financing is by no means guaranteed and the company remains in a crucial phase to secure long-term funding.”

Patel said the package still left some uncertainty about mid-term financing, although less than previously, and he was confident that funding would be secured from the high yield market.

“While shareholders may face some dilution in the short term, fundamentally, we remain positive on the project’s longer-term credentials,” he said, adding that the economics and valuation are “still favourable”, with conservative assumptions on pricing, volumes and capex leading to a forecast internal rate of return of 15% and an price/net present value ratio of 0.4 times.

Sirius shares were up 5% to 15.98p in Wednesday afternoon.

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Wed, 08 May 2019 14:48:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219902/norwegian-sovereign-wealth-fund-buys-into-sirius-minerals-on-open-market-219902.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification of Major Holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190507130532_14065071/ Tue, 07 May 2019 13:05:32 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190507130532_14065071/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals is now at a ‘critical juncture’ as financing efforts continue ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219565/sirius-minerals-is-now-at-a-critical-juncture-as-financing-efforts-continue-219565.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) is said to be at the critical juncture in its development as it zeros in on project financing designed to take the company through to production and revenue generation.

The UK firm yesterday confirmed it had raised the first US$425mln of a US$3.8bn total funding package via a share sale.

It is now raising more equity with an open offer to existing shareholders – who are entitled to buy one share for every twenty-two shares they own – and separately it will raise US$400mln through a corporate bond issue.

READ: Can Sirius Minerals beat Brexit to deliver funding for its Yorkshire mine?

Later, in the summer, the company intends to secure US$3bn of purely debt based financing, first with a US$500mln senior bond issue followed by a revolving credit facility.

Significantly, the phased funding package has a number of contingent elements so the completion of each comes with a certain amount of de-risking for the company and the project.

“Consequently, in our view, the next few weeks represent THE critical juncture for the Stage 2 financing,” said Yuen Low, analyst at house broker Shore Capital.

“Successfully securing the Stage 2 financing is effectively the key to unlocking Sirius’s vast potential, and we expect should catalyse a major re-rating of the shares.

“Beyond that, while Sirius would still be some years from becoming cash generative, an investment in the company should become progressively de-risked and enjoy significant value uplift as it advances towards production, we believe.”

Share placing priced at bottom of range

Earlier this week, Sirius launched a US$400mln share placing as part of a US$3.8bn project funding plan, and, it said the equity sale would price between 15p and 18p, and, on Wednesday, it revealed that the shares would be sold at 15p.

Whilst it was priced at the bottom of range, there evidently was strong demand for the new shares as Sirius revealed that the placing was oversubscribed and it raised an additional US$25mln.

"I am pleased that we have had such a positive response to the launch of our Stage 2 financing solution which is key to unlocking the vast and long-term potential of our project,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius chief executive.

“The order books were oversubscribed, providing scope for a modest increase in the funds raised, further strengthening our financial position as we turn our attention toward securing the next phase of our Stage 2 financing requirements.”

In total, the company is selling 1.96bn new shares, which equates to 28% of the enlarged company.

Open offer shares will also be priced at 15p each.

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Thu, 02 May 2019 09:57:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219565/sirius-minerals-is-now-at-a-critical-juncture-as-financing-efforts-continue-219565.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Publication of Prospectus and Circular ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190501182905_14060077/ Wed, 01 May 2019 18:29:05 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190501182905_14060077/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals prices new shares at bottom of range, raises extra US$25mln ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219436/sirius-minerals-prices-new-shares-at-bottom-of-range-raises-extra-us25mln-219436.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has priced its large equity raise at the bottom end of the anticipated range, selling new shares to institutional investors at 15p – a 32% discount to pre-funding levels.

Yesterday, the company launched a US$400mln share placing as part of a US$3.8bn project funding plan, and, it said the equity sale would price between 15p and 18p.

READ: Can Sirius Minerals beat Brexit to deliver funding for its Yorkshire mine?

Whilst it was priced at the bottom of range, there evidently was strong demand for the new shares as Sirius revealed that the placing was oversubscribed and it raised an additional US$25mln.

"I am pleased that we have had such a positive response to the launch of our Stage 2 financing solution which is key to unlocking the vast and long-term potential of our project,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius chief executive.

“The order books were oversubscribed, providing scope for a modest increase in the funds raised, further strengthening our financial position as we turn our attention toward securing the next phase of our Stage 2 financing requirements.”

In total, the company is selling 1.96bn new shares, which equates to 28% of the enlarged company.

READ: Sirius Minerals launches US$3.8bn ‘markets-led’ project financing

Additionally, the company has now kicked off an accompanying open offer so that qualifying existing shareholders can also buy new shares at the same price.

Shareholders can buy one additional Sirius share for every 22 existing shares they hold.

The placing requires approval at a general meeting, on 21 May, and, it is conditional upon the completion of a separate convertible bond funding which seeks to bring in a further US$400mln of new capital (as well as US$244mln to repay an existing convertible debt series).

After that the other elements of the project financing exercise - a US$500mln senior debt issue and a revolving credit facility – will follow in the autumn, subject to market conditions and operational progress at the company’s Yorkshire mine development project.

In a note to clients, analysts at ‘house’ broker Shore Capital commented: “Successfully securing the Stage 2 financing is effectively the key to unlocking Sirius’s vast potential, and we expect should catalyse a major re-rating of the shares.

“Beyond that, while Sirius would still be some years from becoming cash generative, an investment in the company should become progressively de-risked and enjoy significant value uplift as it advances towards production, we believe.”

In afternoon trading, shares in Sirius Minerals were 5.9% lower at 16.40p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

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Wed, 01 May 2019 07:31:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219436/sirius-minerals-prices-new-shares-at-bottom-of-range-raises-extra-us25mln-219436.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Convertible Bond Placement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190501072636_14058878/ Wed, 01 May 2019 07:26:36 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190501072636_14058878/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Results of Firm Placing and Placing ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190501070013_14058442/ Wed, 01 May 2019 07:00:13 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190501070013_14058442/ <![CDATA[News - Can Sirius Minerals beat Brexit to deliver funding for its Yorkshire mine? ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219396/can-sirius-minerals-beat-brexit-to-deliver-funding-for-its-yorkshire-mine-219396.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) saw its shares take a hit on Tuesday as the UK fertiliser mine developer’s ‘long tail’ of private investors were caught wrong footed by project financing news.

Many had hoped the hotly anticipated ‘Stage 2’ financing would be a ‘one-and-done’ debt based deal, with limited or no dilution for equity holders.

Instead, Sirius revealed a phased and partially contingent financing plan, front-ended with US$800mln of equity and convertible debt.

READ: Sirius Minerals launches US$3.8bn ‘markets-led’ project financing

Some US$400mln worth of new shares will be sold imminently at a discounted price of between 15p and 18p each (exact pricing likely confirmed shortly).

This capital injection - call it the ‘Stage 1.5 financing’, if you wish – means Sirius can keep building its Yorkshire mine with the path to production, revenue and ultimately dividends remaining intact.

The project itself is no small venture. In fact, it is one of the biggest civil engineering undertakings in Europe at present.

It comprises the Woodsmith polyhalite fertiliser mine, which is 1.5km deep, along with a 37km-long underground conveyor belt to a new processing facility.

Initial funds are guaranteed

Significantly, the imminent equity and convertible bond raises are being underwritten in the City - effectively guaranteeing Sirius the funds.

However, the subsequent steps in the funding plan are not, and they will rely on ‘market conditions’.

Specifically, the US$2.5bn revolving credit facility (RCF), the final piece - and the most critical - has yet to be nailed down.

The loan is not expected to be drawn upon until June 2021, but, establishing the facility is contingent upon the completion of a separate US$500mln senior bond issue later this year.

Sirius expects to issue the bonds no later than September, subject to prevailing market conditions, and, a deadline of 30 October is set in the commitment letter for the RCF.

In other words, Sirius must close the US$500mln senior bonds a day before the current deadline for Brexit – the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Sirius still needs to secure the remainder of the project financing in the market place, and, whether the bonds are launched in September or October, the most significant acid test looks likely to come at the sharp-end of Brexit.

So, delivering this large scale UK export story now effectively hinges on the liquidity and appetite among bond investors on the literal eve of Brexit.

Given the Brexit deadline date is Halloween, should investors be scared?

Before long term investors see their heads spin over what may yet be, it is probably fair to say that, overall, Tuesday’s funding news ought to be taken positively.

It is definitely good news, in as much as it allows mine construction to keep moving forward.

Sirius is deep in the project execution phase, and, without the new funds it would otherwise be left simply owning a big and expensive hole in the ground.

However, investor disquiet is probably warranted too. It is estimated that Sirius has something like 85,000 small shareholders, of which about a quarter are believed to reside in Yorkshire and the North East.

This ‘long tail’ of private investors will be stinging for some time after the dilutive fundraising news.

That has taken around 17% off the price on Tuesday, but, arguably, the funding also removes important near-term uncertainties.

Once they come to terms with the shock, private investors will all be hoping to see forward operational progress rewarded in the share price.

Nevertheless, a binary element of the financing risk remains and with the current timeline Brexit potentially now looms over the project in a more tangible way than before.

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Tue, 30 Apr 2019 16:16:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219396/can-sirius-minerals-beat-brexit-to-deliver-funding-for-its-yorkshire-mine-219396.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - 2018 Annual Report ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430073856_14056830/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:38:56 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430073856_14056830/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals launches US$3.8bn ‘markets-led’ Stage 2 project financing ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219328/sirius-minerals-launches-us38bn-markets-led-stage-2-project-financing-219328.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) this morning launched a ‘markets-led’ Stage 2 project financing which aims to fund the Yorkshire mine development project to completion.

The US$3.8bn financing will comprise a US$400mln equity fundraising, a US$644mln issue of convertible bonds, a US$500mln senior secured bond issue and a credit facility up to a maximum of US$2.5bn.

READ: Sirius Minerals inks new sales deal with German agribusiness

"In March we paused discussions with prospective lenders to work on an alternative financing proposal with J.P. Morgan Cazenove,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius chief executive.

“Today we are pleased to announce that, as a result of that work, we are launching a comprehensive markets-led solution for our funding requirements which will enable Sirius Minerals to complete the development of its mine and unlock what we believe to be the world's largest known high-grade polyhalite deposit.”

“The funding package will bring together equity, convertible bonds, high yield debt, and a US$2.5bn revolving credit facility in a multi-stage, flexible structure that balances the availability of capital with the needs of the project.”

Fraser added: “Today's announcement provides a clear pathway to a fully financed project in the months ahead, while enabling us to progress construction at full speed."

Share placing

Sirius aims to raise US$400mln of new equity in three related issues – it will conduct a fully underwritten firm placing, a regular placing and an open offer to qualifying existing shareholders.

It expects to price the new shares between 15p and 18p (Monday’s closing price was 21.9p). In early morning trading, shares in Sirius Minerals were trading at 18.74p, down 4.4%.

The company anticipates that the majority of the placing shares, about 90%, will be sold to institutional investors.

Bonds

Some US$644mln will be raised via a convertible bond issue, though around US$244mln of that will effectively replace existing 8.5% convertible bonds.

It will be launched in conjunction with the equity raise.

The issue will take place in two tranches. One will be the fully underwritten issue of US$400mln, to guarantee the new funding, the other US$244mln issue raises capital to use in the buy-back of the existing convertibles.

The separate US$500mln senior secured bond issue is being delivered by JP Morgan Securities which will endeavour to find buyers though it is not under obligation to take the bonds, so the US$500mln raise is not guaranteed.

Revolving credit facility

Sirius has now signed an engagement letter with JP Morgan for the proposed US$2.5bn revolving credit facility. It is contingent upon the completion of the full US$500mln bond issue, before 30 October 2019.

JP Morgan is the sole lead arranger, though it is expected that the facility will be syndicated to other lenders.

Timing

Sirius has already this morning launched the ‘buy-back’ convertible bond issue, and it is expected to close in May.

The straight equity components – the underwritten placing, placing and open offer – and the US$400mln convertible bond issue will take place at around the same time (the share placing process launches today).

Together, these elements will raise about US$1bn of new funds which will allow Sirius to continue the advancement of the Yorkshire mine development project.

By September, the company will aim to issue the separate US$500mln senior secured bonds and, so long as it completes before 30 October, the revolving credit facility will be put in place (it will have a maximum of US$2.5bn).

It is anticipated that the initial drawdown under the facility will occur no later than June 2021.

 -- Adds share price --

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Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:18:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219328/sirius-minerals-launches-us38bn-markets-led-stage-2-project-financing-219328.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Convertible Bond Offering ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430070107_14056431/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:01:07 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430070107_14056431/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Launch of Stage 2 Financing ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430070103_14056441/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:01:03 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430070103_14056441/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - 2018 Preliminary Results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430070017_14056364/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:00:17 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190430070017_14056364/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals shares up as it inks new sales deal with German agribusiness ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219071/sirius-minerals-shares-up-as-it-inks-new-sales-deal-with-german-agribusiness-219071.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) shares were higher on Thursday after the firm revealed the latest sales agreement for its new mine in Yorkshire, with European agribusiness, BayWa AG signing a ten-year deal.

Through the deal, which is expected to ramp up over the term, BayWa will receive a minimum of 2.5mln tonnes of polyhalite fertiliser per year by year five. It takes the Sirius future contracted sales up to 10.7mln tonnes, which approximately equates to the mine’s first phase capacity.

READ: Is now the time to invest in Sirius Minerals?

Sirius highlighted that the deal gives it greater downstream pricing exposure in the premium European market.

"The European fertilizer market is highly advanced and the second largest in the world behind China,” said Chris Fraser, Sirius chief executive.

“We are delighted to be partnering with a leading agribusiness to distribute our POLY4 product into this key market. Our exclusive partnership with BAST will enable us to reach downstream customers through the groups' well-established and extensive logistics network and long-term, trusted relationships with farmers.”

Daan Vriens, chief executive of the BayWa Agri Supply & Trade (BAST) business, added: "We are excited to be partnering with Sirius to bring a high performing, multi-nutrient fertilizer like POLY4 to customers across Europe.

“POLY4 fits with our sustainability and farmer services strategies across our markets. This will provide farmers, via our extensive networks, a fertilizer product that promotes sustainable agricultural practice in our home market, Europe."

'Highest prices'

Munich headquartered BayWa distributes agricultural products in the European market, presently including 2mln tonnes of fertilisers per year.

Sirius noted that the supply deal includes a pricing mechanism linked to downstream pricing, determined by the price received by BAST whilst referencing a benchmark price and the ‘nature of the final BAST customer’.

It added that BAST is incentivised to sell the POLY 4 product further down the supply chain – described as those ‘closer to the farm gate’.

The UK miner anticipates that via BAST it will see highest prices across its current supply agreement portfolio.

In afternoon trading, shares in the FTSE 250-listed firm were 3.2% higher at 21.66p.

 -- Adds share price --

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Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:40:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/219071/sirius-minerals-shares-up-as-it-inks-new-sales-deal-with-german-agribusiness-219071.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Major European supply and distribution agreement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190425070008_14051012/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:00:08 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190425070008_14051012/ <![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals: Is now the time to invest ahead of key US$3.5bn financing? ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/218157/sirius-minerals-is-now-the-time-to-invest-ahead-of-key-us35bn-financing-218157.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) is approaching a “crucial juncture”, according to analysts, so is it time to make an investment?

You’ll struggle to find an analyst who says not to: out of the four abacus rattlers who watch the stock, three have ‘buy’ recommendations while the other has an ‘outperform’ rating.

READ: Sirius Minerals makes it onto Liberum’s most preferred list

Sirius is behind one of the biggest civil engineering projects currently being undertaken in Europe.

It is building the Woodsmith polyhalite fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire, which is 1.5km deep and requires a 37km-long underground conveyor belt to take the minerals from the mine to a processing facility.

Backing such a complex and impressive project in the UK will no doubt be reason enough for some investors.

Financing due this month

Analysts are less romantic, though, and instead point to an upcoming financing as perhaps the biggest remaining inflection point and one which punters should get in ahead of.

“If all goes to plan, Sirius’s US$3.4-3.6bn stage 2 financing will be successfully completed over the coming weeks,” said Shore Capital’s Yuen Low in a recent note to clients.

“We expect this seminal achievement to catalyse a major re-rating of the shares.”

Low thinks the financing will spur the Sirius share price onto the 50p level, while Liberum’s mining analyst Ben Davis is looking for somewhere between 45p and 60p post-funding.

Either way, both are forecasting a sharp rise in the FTSE 250 group’s share price, which currently sits at just above 20p.

It has been pushed back before though …

Critics will have their doubts as to whether the financing will be secured on time and on terms the market considers acceptable.

The deadline for completion has already been pushed back once: it was supposed to be delivered in the first quarter of this year, but Sirius bosses are now guiding for the end of this month (April).

Sirius can’t afford any more delays either. In an update back in January, it said it has enough in the bank to last it “into the second quarter” without having to alter the project’s timeline.

Then there was the surprise at the start of the year when the UK government only committed to lending the company US$1bn to help develop Woodsmith. The expectation previously was that the government would underwrite US$2bn of loans.

Sirius tried to jazz up the announcement by saying that it would rely less heavily on debt from one particular party, although others argued that government financing is almost always the cheapest.

Digging such a deep mine isn’t easy (or cheap)

While the financing accounts for the majority of the project risk – about 60% seems to be the consensus – the rest of the risk lies in the ground (literally).

Because the mine is so deep and requires such a complex conveyer belt system to be built, Sirius is having to drill through a lot of earth.

With every metre comes more risk that tunnellers bump into the unexpected. In a recent op-ed, the Financial Times claimed that the digging costs alone could end up being US$530mln higher than forecast, although this figure was disputed by Liberum.

Rising costs are a touchy subject for long-term Sirius investors, though. In September, Sirius said it needed to build a wider tunnel for the mineral transportation system (MTS) which would add US$400-600mln to the overall bill, currently at US$4.2bn.

Is Sirius over-egging the potential of POLY4?

Assuming the project does go ahead without any major operational or financial hiccups, being able to sell the fertiliser is critical. What’s the point otherwise?

Sirius has struck deals with various companies around the world that have agreed to take a combined 8.2mln tonnes of POLY4 every year.

As yet, there is no supply agreement in place in Europe, but negotiations with a potential offtake partner are “well advanced” and Liberum’s Davies is of the view that a “big player could be a share catalyst”.

Some in the industry are sceptical over the market for the fertiliser, though given that only one other company produces it: Israeli Chemicals (ICL) at a nearby mine.

While Sirius is looking to build a mine that can produce 10mln tonnes of polyhalite every year – and with plans to double that by 2029 – ICL reckons potential long-term demand is nearer to 3mln.

Liberum thinks the fact that Sirius has managed to strike deals with several big firms around the world means the market for POLY4 is now “unquestionable”, although only time will tell.

Sirius shares were up 5% to 23.2p on Tuesday. They had been as high as 26.6p earlier in the session.

-- Updates share price --

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Mon, 22 Apr 2019 08:00:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/218157/sirius-minerals-is-now-the-time-to-invest-ahead-of-key-us35bn-financing-218157.html
<![CDATA[News - Sirius Minerals surges as US investment giant sells £20mln stake ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/218230/sirius-minerals-surges-as-us-investment-giant-sells-20mln-stake-218230.html Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) shares surged on Tuesday as one of the world’s largest investment groups offloaded another slug of shares worth more than £20mln.

In a stock exchange filing, Sirius confirmed that US giant Capital Group sold off a 2.12% stake worth just over £22mln based on Monday’s closing price.

READ: Is now the time to invest in Sirius Minerals?

It is the second time this year that Capital Group has trimmed its interest in the FTSE 250 group. Back in February, it disposed of a 2.8% stake, which was worth around £25mln.

Such sales typically flood the market and keep a lid on the share price, something which keen Sirius followers would have seen in recent weeks when the stock has never drifted too far away from 20p.

Shore Capital’s mining analyst Yuen Low has speculated that one of the reasons for the sudden jump in the company’s share price today could be because Capital has possibly stopped selling down.

“We know that one of the Capital funds has been selling down not just Sirius but others as well, and it might be that the weakness in the share price in recent weeks is due to that particular fund within Capital selling down,” Low explained to Proactive Investors.

“Share prices are a function of supply and demand. If there is no supply but there is lots of demand, then the price can only go up.

“Maybe [Capital] has stopped selling and that is allowing the buying pressure to come through. That is just speculation though.”

Major financing on the horizon

Low added another potential explanation: momentum, especially with Sirius due to complete a major US$3.5bn financing by the end of the month.

“I would say it is also a possibility [that investors are getting in ahead of that financing].

“If you are confident that the management will deliver, completion of the financing would be an inflection point for the stock because at that point the company’s destiny would effectively be in its own hands.”

He concluded: "I would imagine the real answer is probably a combination of [Capital not selling any more and momentum building], although I'll re-emphasise that this is just speculation on my part."

Sirius shares were up 15% to 25.7p in mid-morning trading on Tuesday.

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Tue, 09 Apr 2019 10:35:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/218230/sirius-minerals-surges-as-us-investment-giant-sells-20mln-stake-218230.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - TR-1: Notification of major holdings ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190409091801_14034125/ Tue, 09 Apr 2019 09:18:01 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/914/LSE20190409091801_14034125/