DE BEERS up for sale

Baitshepi Sekgweng
PULLING OUT: Anglo American divests from De Beers

Anglo American to sell up as they move away from diamonds

Those with a love for diamonds – and a spare P100 billion in their back pocket – take note: Anglo American are selling De Beers Group!

For months whispers have been growing louder that UK-based company, Anglo American were preparing to part ways with the world’s biggest diamond miner, in which they own an 85 percent stake (the Botswana government owns the other 15 percent).

On Tuesday, the rumours were finally confirmed, with Anglo American revealing they plan to ‘divest or demerge’ from De beers.

It is hoped this will improve strategic flexibility for both entities, with the London-listed outfit stepping away from diamonds to focus its resources on copper, iron and fertilizers instead.

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“These actions represent the most radical changes to Anglo American in decades,” declared Anglo Chief Executive, Duncan Wanblad.


Despite this looming change, De beers called for calm, assuring the public it remains fully focused on delivering its strategy and creating value for stakeholders.

“We have outstanding assets across countries, a unique sales model and an iconic brand, synonymous with diamonds. I am confident that we will remain the diamond leader for the next century. Anglo American opens up new possibilities under new ownership. But some things will not change. We will continue to deliver value for all our stakeholders, in particular we look forward to finalizing our transformational agreement with the government of Botswana,” assured De beers Group CEO, Al Cook.

Far from being worried, Cook insisted he was extremely excited at what the future holds for both De beers and diamonds in general.

“Diamonds remain some of the most desired products around the world, and I am excited by the opportunity we have to bring their magic to a new generation. With the ongoing recovery in rough diamond demand, and such a positive outlook for the sector, I feel very confident in our future,” continued Cook, whose company runs diamond operations in South Africa, Namibia and Canada as well as Botswana.

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Despite his consoling words, it has been a rocky few years for De beers, who have watched as sales decline drastically due to the sluggish global economy and competition from lab-created alternatives.

It was against this backdrop that in February, Anglo American valued the miner at US$7.6 billion (P103.3 billion), 17 percent less than their previous estimations. Still, it’s a purchase that will require a bit more than a Chema Chema loan!

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