Deal wizard of South African gold mining is scaring investors


Investors might be running out of patience with Sibanye Gold Ltd.’s colorful chief executive, Neal Froneman.

The South African miner’s stock plunged by a record 16% on Thursday after the company warned it may consider selling assets, metals streams and – only as a last resort – new shares, if the recent strength in the rand persists.

Sibanye is under pressure to reduce debt after a rapid-fire series of deals that transformed the company from a staid and steady gold producer to a diversified precious-metals miner with both southern African and US assets.

The company’s net debt is 2.6 times underlying earnings and almost as high as its current market value.

So far, investors have given Froneman, an industry veteran who earned himself the the nickname ‘Mr Fix-It’ for turnaround successes in…

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