LONDON Global miner Anglo American (AAL.L) 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 agreement.
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.
(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; editing by Sarah Young)