De Beers Is Eager To Go It Alone As Anglo American Divests Its Diamond Holdings

Anglo American, the $30.7 billion British multinational mining company, just announced plans to divest De Beers, its diamond mining and jewelry subsidiary. Ango American holds an 85% interest in De Beers and the government of Botswana owns the minority share.

“Anglo American is now exploring the full range of options to separate the business in order to set it up for success in unlocking full value, “ Anglo American CEO Duncan Wanblad said in a presentation earlier this week. “This will give both Anglo American and De Beers a new level of strategic flexibility to maximize value for both company’s shareholders.”

Anglo American is fighting a takeover bid from BHP Group, reported by Reuters to be the world’s largest mining company. In a move to shore up the company’s overall value, Anglo American will focus on its cooper, premium iron ore and crop nutrients businesses. Also slated to be divested is its Anglo American Platinum business, both of which will bring profound changes to the roughly $300 billion global jewelry industry.

Advising that Anglo American is considering a number of options for De Beers, be it a sale or IPO, and that it is still working through logistics with Botswana, Wanblad said, “It is a great business and it has fantastic assets and it has an exceptional brands. And therefore on that basis, it really deserves to be together on that set of criteria. How we do this is going to be a journey.”

De Beers CEO Al Cook is more than ready for the next phase of that journey. “For 124 of our 136 years of existence, Anglo American didn’t own the majority of De Beers,” he shared in an exclusive interview from Botswana. Anglo American acquired its majority stake in 2011.

Source: Forbes