Petra Diamonds Hoists for Sale Sign as Debt Payment Looms

Petra Diamonds, owner of the South African mine famous for producing two of the diamonds in the British crown jewels, has put itself up for sale as it battles to service its debts, the Financial Times reported. The London-listed miner, which has been in talks with creditors after the coronavirus pandemic hammered the diamond market, said it was seeking offers for all or part of the company that owns the Cullinan mine. Petra failed to make an interest payment on a $650m bond last month, but won some breathing space from creditors who said they would not declare a default until August. In return the company has told bondholders to come up with a restructuring plan by the end of June that would set out a revised capital structure. The $650m bond has to be refinanced by May 2022. “This is a very challenging market to seek offers for the mines, when the diamond miners are struggling even to sell the diamonds themselves due to both travel restrictions in getting to sites, lockdown of cutting and polishing centres in India and collapse in jewellery sales,” said Ben Davis. Read more