Oppenheimers sell part of Anglo stake

2010-12-14 20:54

London - The Oppenheimer family has sold 7.7% of its holding in mining group Anglo American [JSE:AGL] for about £64m (R691m), but said it did not plan to sell any more.

"We have no intention of selling further shares," James Teeger, group managing director of E. Oppenheimer & Son, the family's investment vehicle, told Reuters on Tuesday. The Oppenheimer family, which founded the diversified miner almost 90 years ago, sold 2.1 million shares, leaving it with 25.2 million shares, which makes up just under 2%  of Anglo.

The sale at an average price of about 3 044 pence, made known through a statement to the stock exchange, was for "portfolio rebalancing purposes", Teeger added.

In November 2006, the Oppenheimers sold a third of its holding in Anglo to Chinese billionaire Larry Yung, also to diversify its assets.

At the time, it said it planned to invest in areas that were traditionally countercyclical to the mining industry.

The Oppenheimers also own 40% of De Beers, the world's biggest diamond group, of which Anglo owns 45%.

Nicky Oppenheimer is chairperson of De Beers and a board member of Anglo.

The Oppenheimer family ranked 154th on this year's Forbes list of billionaires, with an estimated fortune of $5bn.

The Oppenheimers have been heavily involved in South Africa's business life since grandfather Ernest won control of a diamond operation formed by magnate Cecil Rhodes.

  • umlilo - 2010-12-15 07:25

    anyone heard of or has a copy of the 'apartheid' era banned book 'Oppenheimer & Son' which allegedly spells out the intrigues and even murder to the accumulation of wealth by the Oppenheimers?

  • Johyn Maynard - 2010-12-15 08:23

    I also have no confidence in the SA mining sector under the current government. This disinvestment by those in the know and with the funds to create employment will continue unless the Minister 1) addresses the Sishen debacle decisively 2) Zuma speaks out clearly on nationalisation of mines 3) the BEE ownership baggage is removed.

  • martin albert - 2010-12-15 09:59

    It is amazing how a family who is responsible for such an immoral and unethical business, diamonds, can achieve so much wealth and then be held in high esteem!

  • marius - 2010-12-15 12:51

    well first i can say with certanty that they can take nothing with them when they die. secondly they will give it back in some sort of way, down the line one of the sons or daughters will end up spending and wasting their fortunes. by doing so they will give it back by spending it on stuff. were are the rich pharos the billionares of 500 years ago? we eventualy give it back if we like it or not. money can not make you happy, but then i would rather be unhappy and rich than unhappy and poor. lol

  • Efrem Chihambakwe - 2010-12-20 02:37

    Mugabe's policies are giving De Beers a run for their money. Now he is going to pretty much impose mining sanctions on Britain and America. Watch out for more adjustments. Truly the world is changing. Perhaps only a nuclear war will shift emphasis from resource nationalism being sparked by Wikileaks. Go Mugabe go!

  • Hannes from Perth - 2010-12-20 08:01

    The Oppenheimers must be one of the biggest beneficiaries of apartheid; they did not only benefit from cheap labour, they also reduced their costs by housing miners in hostels instead of having to build proper homes for workers and their families. They build up a fortune without sharing the mining wealth with ordinary South Africans as each successive government had to keep royalty rates very low to attract investment in the labour intensive mining industries. The extend of the diamond mining rights that De Beers enjoyed in apartheid era was a global anomaly. They paid tax but only at the lower corporate tax rate (max 30%)and lobbied to get even dividends tax free, while other South Africans were taxed to death at high individual tax rates of up to 48%. They also play the ANC perfectly; First they made sure the ANC abandon nationalisation before taking power (this may proof to be only temporary) and then they encouraged the ANC to relax exchange controls to that they can take their extreme accumulated wealth far away from the greedy hands of an increasingly socialist SA government. They paid lip service to the new SA and even actively supported BEE/AA knowing that the obligation and cost of restitution for "apartheid" will moved to the next generation of whites. I admire the way this family exploited successive governments to their advantage - what business accumen!

  • Christo - 2010-12-20 08:37

    What a load of crap you are talking. Please get your facts straight.

  • Hannes from Perth - 2010-12-20 11:40

    @unlilo. Also read Glitter and Greed, the secret world of the diamond cartel by Janine Roberts if you can. It is fact that De Beers accumulated immense wealth under Harry Oppenheimer (1957-1982) by curtailing supply, underpaying for dangerous work and not providing the infrastructure to house black families (and thereby helping to destroy the black family structure for my people). There was even a special crime created for their benefit, illegal diamond trading, that was policed by a special unit of the police force. This while they paid little tax, a 93-94 Department of Finance Report estimated that tax payers only received 1.2% of the value of a diamond. They lined their pockets during apartheid, moved their wealth to a tax heaven and avoid the obligation to fix the issues from apartheid by moving it to the next generation, young South Africans that now suffer from reverse discrimination. The Oppenheimers are excellent at business; they know how to maintain a positive public persona by fighting apartheid, while milking the system for all that it is worth. Not that different from BEE/AA entrepreneurs in my view. Good on them, it is just business. The failure is with SA governments that continue to fail to secure a fair deal for their citizens.

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