Anglo American to buy Oppenheimer family's stake in De Beers for $5.1 bn

Diversified miner, Anglo American is set to take control of the world's largest diamond company De Beers and has agreed to acquire the Oppenheimer family's 40-per cent stake, for $5.1 billion in cash.

The acquisition will increase London-based Anglo American's stake in DeBeers from 45 per cent to 85 per cent, while the remaining 15 per cent will continue to be held by the government of Bostwana.

However, the government of Botswana could exercise a right to increase its stake to 25 per cent, taking Anglo American's holding down to 75 per cent.

Last month, The Guardian said in a report that shareholders of Anglo American are urging the company to take over De Beers by acquiring the Oppenheimer family's stake as it would allow the miner to find out the true worth of DeBeers and possibly extract more value. (See: Anglo American shareholders seek control of De Beers)

''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,'' said Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American.

''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,'' said Nicky Oppenheimer, representing the Oppenheimer family interests.