Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 December 2010 – The De Beers Group “’ the world’s largest diamond business “’ has contradicted weekend reports out of London that mining giant Anglo American plc was plotting a takeover, saying it has no knowledge of any such development.
Anglo American spokesperson James Wyatt-Tilby told I-Net Bridge that the company would not comment on this speculation.
De Beers spokesperson Tom Tweedy also called the report ‘speculation’, as the company had no knowledge of a takeover plan. “It is a shareholder issue “’ only shareholders would comment,” he added.
The reports emanated from the Sunday Times in London, which said Anglo was considering a plan to take control of De Beers.
The London-based company, which has significant mining operations in South Africa, would do so by buying out the Oppenheimer family’s stake, said the report, which cited sources in London’s financial district.
Anglo American owns 45% of De Beers, with the Oppenheimers holding 40% and the government of Botswana 15%.
If it happened, the deal could cost Anglo American at least £2billion (R21 billion), the report said.
“Shareholders aren’t happy with the minority investment. They want clarity either way, and the view of the directors is a positive one: that they would be interested in taking control,” the newspaper cited a banking source as saying.