LONDON — Anglo American has boosted its stake in the De Beers diamond company to 85 percent with the purchase of the Oppenheimer family’s shareholding.
Anglo American, one of the world’s leading mining companies, said it purchased the Oppenheimer family’s 40 percent stake for $5.1 billion. Anglo American had already owned a 45 percent slice of De Beers.
The Oppenheimer family had a significant stake in De Beers for generations, held management positions in the diamond company, and had long been synonymous with the De Beers name.
Cynthia Carroll, chief executive of Anglo American, said in a statement: “This transaction is a unique opportunity for Anglo American to consolidate control of the world’s leading diamond company — De Beers. Today’s announcement marks our commitment to an industry with highly attractive long term supply and demand fundamentals.”
Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, said: “This has been a momentous and difficult decision as my family has been in the diamond industry for more than 100 years and part of De Beers for over 80 years.
“After careful and deliberate consideration of the offer, and what is in the best interests of the family, we unanimously agreed to accept Anglo American’s offer,” he continued. “Anglo American is the natural home for our stake as they have been major shareholders in De Beers since 1926 and have a deep knowledge of the diamond business. I am certain that Anglo American will provide strong support to Philippe Mellier and the De Beers management team.”