Anglo Faces Platinum Test in Possible South Africa Spinoff – by Janice Kew, Kevin Crowley, and Loni Prinsloo (Bloomberg News – December 5, 2016)

Anglo American Plc is facing a showdown with its biggest investor, South Africa’s state-owned Public Investment Corp., which wants the miner’s prized platinum assets included in any divestment of its local operations.

PIC, which owns about 14.5 percent of Anglo, is insisting platinum is included in the suite of coal and iron ore assets that the miner is considering spinning off, according to a person familiar with the fund manager’s thinking.

That presents a major hurdle to Anglo Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani, who says platinum is one of the company’s core commodities, along with copper and diamonds.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. is the world’s biggest producer of the metal and 70 percent of global production comes from South Africa. The London-based Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that Anglo had convinced the PIC to drop its platinum request, without saying where it got the information.

Anglo Assets

Anglo favors a spinoff of its iron-ore and thermal-coal assets in South Africa, rather than selling them piecemeal, a person close to the company said Monday, asking not to be identified. The miner still wants to generate cash from any divestment to pay down debt, another person close to the company said.

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