Home » South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s ARM pursues lithium and copper assets

South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s ARM pursues lithium and copper assets

by Omokolade Ajayi
Patrice Motsepe

African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), the diversified mining conglomerate led by influential South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, has boldly announced its proactive pursuit of acquiring valuable lithium and copper assets.

However, Motsepe, ARM’s executive chairman, expressed concerns about the soaring prices of these essential metal assets in the context of the clean energy transition.

Motsepe, one of the world’s Black billionaires, revealed that ARM had walked away from three potential deals due to what he described as “crazy money” being demanded for these resources. He stated: “The big danger is that sometimes people are ridiculously excited and pay excessively higher for lithium deposits than should be the case.”

Motsepe emphasized that ARM is not desperate to make these acquisitions and will only proceed if the group sees substantial value in the transactions. This cautious approach aligns with ARM’s commitment to responsible and strategic investment.

The statement came on the same day ARM released its fiscal year 2023 financial results, which disappointed investors. The company cited rail logistics issues, reduced production, and weaker commodity prices as the primary reasons for the decline in profits.

ARM’s profit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, fell by more than 35 percent, dropping from R14.36 billion ($750.8 million) at the end of the 2022 fiscal year to R9.32 billion ($487.3 million) at the close of the 2023 fiscal year.

This substantial drop in earnings led ARM’s board of directors, chaired by Patrice Motsepe, who holds a significant 40.37-percent stake in the company, to declare a final dividend of R12 ($0.63) per share. This represents a significant reduction compared to the R20 ($1.046) per share final dividend paid to shareholders in the previous fiscal year.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Motsepe, who made history in 2008 as the first Black African billionaire on Forbes’ list, is expected to receive a final dividend of R1.088 billion ($56.5 million) from his 40.37-percent stake in ARM.

Investors will be closely monitoring ARM’s strategic moves in the lithium and copper sectors as it navigates the challenges posed by pricing volatility and works to restore investor confidence in the wake of disappointing financial results.

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