Eastern Platinum Limited

Eastern Platinum Limited

March 01, 2007 05:00 ET

Eastplats to Increase Interest in Barplats to 74% Through an Offer to Minority Barplats Shareholders

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2007) - Mr. Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastern Platinum Limited ("Eastplats")(TSX:ELR)(AIM:ELR), is pleased to report on the proposed acquisition of minority shareholdings in Barplats Investments Limited ("Barplats"). Eastplats has submitted to the board of directors of Barplats a notice of its firm intention to acquire all the shares in the issued ordinary share capital of Barplats other than those already indirectly held by Eastplats through its wholly owned subsidiaries, and its BEE partner Gubevu Consortium Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Limited.

The consideration payable in terms of the offer will be 0.98 of an Eastplats' common share and 70 South African cents for every one Barplats share held. On this basis, the total cash consideration amounts to ZAR10,797,471 in cash (Cdn$1,759,125) and 15,118,699 Eastplats common shares. The scheme consideration represents a premium of 48% to the 30-day volume weighted average Barplats share price of R7.96, and a premium of 56.3% to the 60-day volume weighted average Barplats share price of R7.54 up to and including February 28, 2007.

The offer to be proposed by Eastplats will be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement envisaged to complete on May 18th, 2007. Completion of the acquisition is subject to the passage of a resolution by the minority shareholders approving the scheme. In order to pass, the resolution must be approved by a simple majority of the minority shareholders represented at the meeting. Should the scheme be implemented, Eastplats will acquire all of the scheme members' issued shares being 15,424,959 Barplats shares, or approximately 5.0% of Barplats' shares, and Barplats' listing on the JSE Limited ("JSE") will be terminated. Simultaneous to the termination, Eastplats will list all of its issued common shares on the JSE. The Eastplats common shares are already listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") and the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM") in London.

Should the scheme be implemented, the indirect and direct interest held in Barplats by Eastplats would increase to approximately 74%.

The Company is confident that the Barplats minority shareholders will vote in favour of the scheme given the very low liquidity and tradability of Barplats shares. Also, the scheme presents an opportunity for scheme members to participate in the future growth of Eastplats through receipt of Eastplats shares. Eastplats is well positioned to finance Barplats' production and expansion plans, already demonstrated by its considerable investment in Barplats' operations at CRM. Also the scheme, if implemented, should enable Barplats to realize value from its KV project in a timely and efficient manner, being developed in part through the proposed mine at the adjacent Spitzkop property by Eastplats.

"The BPL shareholders are being offered a significant premium for their shares at a time when the risks associated with their investment in Barplats have been largely mitigated through Eastplats' financing of the mine operations and expansions at Crocodile River," stated Ian Rozier.

"This offer is attractive, providing a premium to market and substantial liquidity and tradability for these shareholders, something they have not enjoyed in the past. The offer follows a period of lengthy negotiations with the South African regulatory authorities and our B.E.E. partners, and we are pleased with the cooperation and support that we have received," he stated.

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