Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal’s 20% stake in Anglo American gives him one of the biggest positions in the commodity world.
LONDON—Anil Agarwal began his career as a metals dealer in India nearly 50 years ago. Today, he is a billionaire making one of the biggest bets on the global mining industry’s recovery.
The chairman of India’s Vedanta Resources PLC has used a family trust to invest almost $4.5 billion in Anglo American PLC this year, taking control of about 20% of the U.K. mining giant. Along with his controlling ownership of about $2.1 billion in his own company, the stake vaults Mr. Agarwal into a rarefied group of mining investors.
Among individuals, Mr. Agarwal’s bet rivals that of Glencore PLC Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg, whose shares in his own company are worth about $5.9 billion—one of the largest personal stakes in a mining company. Big institutional investors like BlackRock Inc. also have significant stakes in a range of companies, including BHP Billiton PLC and Rio Tinto PLC.
“As an individual, this is a huge position in mining,” said Paul Gait, a mining analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. Mr. Agarwal and a spokesman for Anglo American declined to comment.
Mr. Agarwal’s roughly $6.6 billion position in two large mining companies comes amid a broad turnaround in the sector, fueled by demand in China, which consumes about half of most of the world’s major commodities.
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