Botswana Vows to Protect Interests in Potential BHP-Anglo Deal – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – May 9, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi vowed to protect the country’s interests, including its 15% stake in diamond giant De Beers, should BHP Group Ltd. acquire Anglo American Plc.

Anglo, which rejected a BHP proposal valuing the mining company at about $39 billion, owns the other 85% of De Beers. Under the proposed deal, BHP — once a major diamond producer itself — said that De Beers would be put on a strategic review. Anglo, the only major miner with a big diamond business, has already been reviewing the future of units including De Beers.

Botswana has not been formally approached by either BHP or Anglo, Masisi said in a television interview Wednesday with CNBC Africa in Dallas, Texas. “No way would we allow ourselves to willingly be made redundant or irrelevant,” the president said. “So Botswana will respond in ways that are protective of its interests.”

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