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Botswana passes on $1.26bn De Beers rights

Aug 01 2012 08:14 David McKay

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ANGLO AMERICAN announced on Tuesday it had lifted its stake in De Beers from 40% to 85% after the Botswana government passed on its pre-emptive rights worth $1.26bn - a development that was widely expected by the market.

The way is now clear for Anglo American to conclude its $5.1bn takeover of the Oppenheimer stake in De Beers, possibly in September, or earlier. The outcome was hailed by Cynthia Carroll, Anglo American CEO, who said the group looked forward to strengthening its relationship with the Botswana government.

In terms of a previous agreement, the Botswana government has the right to take up its pro-rata share of the Oppenheimer stake, which would lift its shares in De Beers to 25% from the current 15%. This would have left Anglo with a 75% stake in De Beers, and cost the Botswana government $1.26bn.

“The Botswana government already has control of its stake in Debswana so it may not make sense to follow its rights,” Miningmx quoted Des Kilalea, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets, as having said.

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anglo american  |  de beers
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