Anglo American plc (AGL) on Tuesday noted an announcement made by the Government of the Republic of Botswana (GRB) in relation to its decision not to take up its pre-emptive rights to acquire an additional shareholding in De Beers.

Under the terms of the Shareholders’ Agreement between Anglo American‚ CHL (representing the Oppenheimer family interests) and the GRB‚ the GRB had pre-emption rights in respect of CHL’s interest in De Beers‚ enabling it to increase its interest in De Beers‚ on a pro rata basis‚ to 25%. On 26 July‚ a formal pre-emption offer was served by CHL on Anglo American and the GRB in accordance with the terms of the Shareholders’ Agreement.

As a result of the GRB’s decision‚ Anglo American will acquire an incremental 40% interest in De Beers for a total cash consideration of US$5.1 billion‚ subject to adjustment as provided for in its agreement with CHL‚ taking its total interest to 85%.

Cynthia Carroll‚ Chief Executive of Anglo American‚ said: “The innovative partnership between Anglo American and the Government of the Republic of Botswana‚ as the shareholders in De Beers‚ is a clear demonstration of the level of commitment of the GRB to the long term prosperity of the world’s leading diamond company.

“We look forward to strengthening this longstanding and proven partnership which provides a close alignment of interests between Anglo American and Botswana and builds upon the ten year sales agreement between De Beers and the GRB in relation to Debswana’s production.”

The Minister of Minerals‚ Energy‚ and Water Resources‚ Dr. Ponatshego H Kedikilwe‚ on behalf of the Republic of Botswana said: “The diamond industry is a major contributor to our economy in Botswana and De Beers is the world’s premier diamond company. We look forward to building on the excellent relationship we have with Anglo American‚ both through our ownership of De Beers and through the Debswana joint venture‚ and to sharing in De Beers’ highly attractive long term prospects.”

Anglo American expects the transaction to complete during September 2012‚ unless an earlier date can be agreed. - I-Net Bridge