Anglo American to sell De Beers

Anglo American to sell De Beers

DE BEERS: One of its showrooms in London’s Bond Street Photo credit: CC/Gryffindor

London-listed mining company Anglo American, which rejected a second takeover approach from Australia’s BHP on May 13, is selling De Beers.

After rejecting a £34 billion (€39.62 billion) offer from BHP, following an initial £31.1 billion (€36.25 billion), Anglo intends to sell the world’s leading diamonds company.

Anglo controls 85 per cent of the firm, while the Botswana government owns the remaining 15 per cent.

De Beers, which represents 6 per cent of Anglo’s business, is expected to fetch around $7 billion (€6.46 billion), according to JP Morgan.

The thinking behind the sale was “to simplify” the mining group and give it “a new level of strategic flexibility”, while making more cash available to shareholders, Anglo’s chief executive Duncan Wanblad said on May 14.

Al Cook, De Beers’s chief executive, who is known to back the sale, was quoted in the Telegraph as saying that new ownership would “open up new possibilities” Cook is now tipped to play a significant role in the future sale.

Other Anglo plans include selling its coal mining interests as well as its stake in the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), which is listed in South Africa.  There will also be less spending on the Woodsmith fertiliser mine in Whitby (Yorkshire).

Wanblad revealed that Anglo was contemplating “a range of options” for De Beers, which could include a full or partial sale.

French luxury giants LVMH, Richemont and Kering have all been suggested as possible bidders for the iconic brand although, Wanblad did not reveal how many were involved.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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