Lonmin shares pop as CFO departs after "challenging" fundraising

Jessica Morris
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Lonmin has been crippled by low commodity prices, rising costs and a series of strikes (Source: Getty)

Lonmin shares tracked higher this morning, after the struggling platinum miner said that its chief financial officer would step down following a "challenging" fundraising round last year.

Simon Scott, who was appointed to the board in 2010 and served as acting chief executive from August 2012 to July 2013, is leaving to pursue "other interests".

He oversaw a $407m (£270m) rights issue in November, during which shares were offered at a 94 per cent discount. Analysts said that the low price would force shareholders to take part, or risk having their investment in the company heavily diluted.

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Mr Scott said in a statement: "After successfully completing last year’s fundraising in an exceptionally challenging market, it is now the right time for me to pursue other interests."

"He's been there [Lonmin] for past five-and-a-half years and this is a decision to move on to something else," analyst Edward Sterck of BMO Capital Markets added.

Shares in the company rose as much as 9.2 per cent 144.5p in London this morning, before settling back at 142.8p.

The miner said Scott's departure date hadn't yet been set, however it was likely to be after the company’s interim results had been released in May. He will remain in a transitional role after this point.

It added that its nomination committee was at an advanced stage in its search for a successor.

Brian Beamish, chairperson at Lonmin, said: "“Simon has played an important role during a difficult period for Lonmin, both as chief financial officer and acting chief executive."

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"We are grateful to him for all his hard work and commitment and wish him well in the future."

Lonmin has been crippled by low commodity prices, as well as rising costs and a series of strikes. Its share price has tumbled by more than 94 per cent since the beginning of 2015.

Earlier this year it announced plans to axe more than 5,000 jobs, amounting to around 84.6 per cent of its workforce.

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