LONDON, July 6 Global miner Anglo American
has secured the final regulatory approval for its $5.1
billion acquisition of the Oppenheimer family's stake in diamond
producer De Beers, paving the way for the deal to close within
the coming months.
The approval from South Africa's minister of Mineral
Resources, announced on Friday, enables Anglo to formally offer
the Botswana government a pro-rata share of the Oppenheimer
family's 40 percent stake, under a long-standing pre-emption
The government of Botswana, the world's top diamond
producing country, could increase its 15 percent stake in De
Beers to 25 percent if it takes up the pre-emption right,
meaning Anglo's ownership would rise to just 75 percent - though
its purchase price reduces accordingly.
If they do not, Anglo's stake will rise to 85 percent of De
Beers, the world's largest diamond producer by value.
The De Beers deal is due to close in the second half of the
year. Botswana formally has 30 days to make its decision, though
the clock will only start ticking after the Oppenheimers and
Anglo tie up the final outstanding details in the coming weeks.
Last November, when the Oppenheimer stake sale was
announced, Botswana said it would be exploring the option of
increasing its stake.