Does Anyone Want to Buy De Beers? – by Joshua Freedman (Rapaport Magazine – May 2, 2024)


For sale: Diamond miner with unprecedented political challenges operating in the toughest market for years.

In December 2015, Anglo American’s leaders informed investors of a restructuring: The mining giant would be cutting 85,000 jobs, selling some of its noncore assets, and streamlining the business into three divisions, one of which was De Beers. This put a temporary stop to speculation that Anglo could sell its famed subsidiary at the end of a challenging year for commodities, including for diamonds.

The rumors have returned. In February of this year, Anglo CEO Duncan Wanblad responded to speculation of a possible divestment by saying it was “not specifically” something the parent company was considering, according to the Financial Times. However, last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Anglo was in the early stages of discussions about a potential sale.

This came days after BHP’s $39 billion offer to buy Anglo, which Anglo rejected. This time around, Anglo appears to be putting more serious efforts into a De Beers deal. The mining conglomerate has held conversations with potential buyers for the diamond unit in recent weeks, “including luxury houses and Gulf sovereign-wealth funds,” The Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed sources.

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