Anil Agarwal defends move to buy stake in Anglo American
Metals-to-mining magnate Anil Agarwal, who plans to buy $2.4 billion worth of stake in Anglo American, said the mining giant has a balanced portfolio and world-class assets.
“I like Anglo's entire balanced portfolio, both in South Africa and elsewhere. I believe Anglo has several world-class assets, including (diamond giant) De Beers,” Agarwal told the weekly Sunday Times here amid speculation that he was planning a takeover bid after becoming the second largest shareholder in Anglo American.
Agarwal also said he did not favour any move to try to break Anglo American into South African and international arms as he believed the group's strength lay in both businesses.
What had attracted him to the company was its strategy, he said, adding he believes the business had significant upside, especially as the team executed its business plan.
Agarwal's acquisition of shares worth $2.4 billion gives him a 12% stake, just below that of South Africa's Public Investment Corporation, which has 13.5% holding.
Analysts here said the purchase was surprising, considering that Agarwal had failed in a bid last year to merge his businesses with Anglo American, but there was no way of predicting what Agarwal's plans were.
Volcan Investments, a personal investment arm of Agarwal, last week announced that it intended to make an investment in Anglo American plc shares of up to 2 billion pounds.
Anglo American, started in South African by Ernest Oppenheimer a century ago, has interests all over the world but has been struggling with its South African operations in recent years due to difficult operating environment challenges such as labour demands for higher wages as well as declining commodity prices globally.