RAPAPORT... Botswana declined to exercise a preemptive right to raise its stake in De Beers, which allows mining giant Anglo American to complete its planned purchase of a share in the firm from the Oppenheimer family (CHL) for $5.1 billion.
As a result of Botswana's decision, Anglo American will acquire an incremental 40 percent interest in De Beers for cash, subject to adjustment as provided for in its agreement with CHL, taking its total interest to 85 percent.
Cynthia Carroll, the 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 Botswana 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 10 year sales agreement between De Beers and Botswana in relation to Debswana’s production.''
Botswana's Minister of Minerals, Energy, and Water Resources, Dr. Ponatshego H Kedikilwe, 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, unless an earlier date can be agreed upon.