South Africa’s Oppenheimer dynasty has ended a century in the diamond business which shaped the region, selling its 40% of De Beers to global miner Anglo American for A$4.91 billion.
The historic deal will end the involvement of the Oppenheimer family in De Beers, and will take Anglo American’s stake up to 85 per cent. The government of Botswana owns the remaining 15 percent of De Beers and has an option to lift this to 25 percent.
“The transaction is a unique opportunity for Anglo American to consolidate control of the world’s leading diamond company, De Beers,” chief executive Cynthia Carroll said.
Nicky Oppenheimer, representing the Oppenheimer interests, said that the agreement had been “difficult” for the family to reach.
“This has been a momentous and difficult decision as my family has been in the diamond industry for more than 100 years and part of De Beers for over 80 years,” Nicky Oppenheimer said in the statement. “ After careful and deliberate consideration of the offer, and what is best in the interests of the family, we unanimously agreed to accept Anglo American’s offer.”
De Beers is a global leader in the mining, exploration, and marketing of diamonds.