Anglo American shareholders seek control of De Beers

Shareholders of diversified miner Anglo American are urging the company to take over De Beers, the world's biggest diamond company, by acquiring the 40 per cent from the Oppenheimer family, The Guardian said in a report.

London-based Anglo American already owns 45 per cent of De Beers but investors say the stake is "undervalued" because De Beers is a private company, which makes it difficult to evaluate, said the paper.

Acquiring Oppenheimer's 40 per cent would allow Anglo American to find out the true worth of DeBeers and possibly extract more value.

The Oppenheimers, which have been running De Beers since 1927, are rumoured to have considered selling their stake, which could be worth $8 billion.

Founded in 1988 by German-Jewish immigrant Cecil Rhodes, Johannesburg, South Africa-based De Beers is the world's largest diamond company. It is 45 per cent owned by Anglo American, a company also founded by Cecil Rhodes, 40 per cent owned by the wealthy Oppenheimer family and the remaining 15 per cent by the government of Bostwana.

De Beers, which is run chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, who is also on the board of Anglo American, operates in more than 20 countries across six continents, employing more than 13,000 people, with mining operations across Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada.