Fin24

Anglo shareholders back De Beers deal

2012-01-06 13:58

London - Shareholders in Anglo American [JSE:AGL] voted to approve the global miner’s $5.1bn acquisition of an additional 40% stake in De Beers, bringing the company closer to sealing control of one of the world’s biggest diamond firms.

The deal, which was announced in November and had been widely expected to get the green light from investors, received 99.94% backing in a shareholder vote at a general meeting held in London on Friday.

Anglo expects to conclude the acquisition of the controlling stake in De Beers from South Africa’s Oppenheimer family in the second half of 2012. In addition to shareholder consent, the deal is also subject to regulatory and government approval.

Botswana, which currently holds 15% of De Beers, has a pro rata pre-emption right over the family’s shares and the country, the world’s top diamond producer, is currently considering its position.

The smooth passage of Anglo’s De Beers acquisition so far is in contrast to its position in Chile, where it could be facing a lengthy legal battle with Chilean state copper giant Codelco over a disputed asset option.