05/21/2024 02:27:09 AM

BREAKING: Johnson Matthey Silver Bar Production may be discontinued?

BGASC Trading Desk – Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BGASC has received word that it’s likely Johnson Matthey branded silver bullion bars will be discontinued.

We were all a bit taken aback when Johnson Matthey announced a few weeks ago that they have agreed to divest their Gold and Silver Refining business to Japanese refiner Asahi Holdings, Inc.

We in the bullion world tend to think of Johnson Matthey as a precious metals refiner and mint, but in reality this is only a small part of who they are. From petro chemicals and natural gas, to recycling and lab supply Johnson Matthey has been, and will continue to be primarily a chemical company.

Unfortunately, it seems that Johnson Matthey may be stepping away from refining, and the Johnson Matthey brand bars may be going out of production in 2015 we have heard from reliable sources.

As many of you may know Johnson Matthey has been in talks to sell their Refining Division to Asahi Holdings. It was hoped by many of us that this would not affect the production of Johnson Matthey bars. Many had hoped that the same machines in the same facilities would continue to mint the same bars as always just under new management. Some are speculating however that this may not happen.

As to the continuation of the Johnson Matthey branded bars we have been informed by inside sources that Asahi is currently seriously considering the discontinuation of the Johnson Matthey brand of precious metals bars in favor of their own branding and that Asahi plans to announce a final decision sometime in the first quarter of the year. So far we cannot confirm this will happen. With the expected close of the deal scheduled for March 31st, 2015, we are confident production of Johnson Matthey branded bars will not stop before then. If production of the JM branded bars was to stop, only time will tell if Johnson Matthey bars would gain collectible value in the market much like Engelhard silver bars have since their production ceased.

Press Release

Johnson Matthey sells Gold and Silver Refining business for £118 million

The business will be divested to Asahi Holdings, Inc., a collector, refiner and recycler of precious and rare metals from waste materials

15 Dec 2014

Johnson Matthey announces that it has agreed to divest its Gold and Silver Refining business to Asahi Holdings, Inc. (Asahi), a collector, refiner and recycler of precious and rare metals from waste materials, for £118 million (US $186 million) in cash, subject to typical post-closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of March 2015.

Johnson Matthey’s Gold and Silver Refining business is a refiner of primary and secondary gold and silver materials. It serves customers globally from refineries in Salt Lake City, USA and Brampton, Canada. The business also provides investment casting services from its St Catharines facility in Canada. In total, the business employs approximately 340 people.

In the financial year ended 31st March 2014 the Gold and Silver Refining business had sales excluding the value of precious metals (sales) of £44 million and for the six months ended 30th September 2014, its sales were £19 million. Its return on sales is typically
around 25%.

Commenting on the transaction, Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey said: “The divestment of the Gold and Silver Refining business is in line with our long term strategy to focus on areas where we can use our expertise in chemistry and its applications to deliver high technology solutions or that provide a strategic service to the wider Johnson Matthey group.”