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Anglo shareholder LGIM supports break-up plan as BHP circles

Anglo's Charterhouse offices in London

Anglo's Charterhouse offices in London

21st May 2024

By: Bloomberg

  

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LONDON - Anglo American shareholder Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) supports the break-up plan announced by the company last week, it said on Monday, as the deadline approaches for BHP Group to log a formal takeover offer.

The radical plan to divest Anglo's less profitable coal, nickel, diamond and platinum businesses followed its rejection of two all-share takeover approaches from BHP, the world's biggest listed mining group, which had proposed a $43-billion deal on the condition that Anglo first spins off its South African operations.

"The plan outlined by Anglo American is a radical but attractive strategy to create value for long-term investors," said Nick Stansbury, head of climate solutions at LGIM.

LGIM is among Anglo's biggest investors with a stake of about 2%, LSEG data shows.

"The execution of this plan will be challenging for management to deliver, but we are confident in their ability to do so over time," Stansbury added.

Under UK takeover rules, BHP has until 17:00 GMT on Wednesday to make a binding bid for Anglo or it will be forced to walk away for at least six months. If the companies find an agreement in the meantime, an extension can be granted.

BHP CEO Mike Henry told investors last week that Anglo shareholders must consider the benefits of a combination of the two companies and which team they think has a better track record of executing projects and delivering returns.

Henry also said he was disappointed with the Anglo board's continued refusal to engage.

"Our discussions with Anglo American indicate that their board are acting appropriately with regards to the level of engagement they are having with BHP," Stansbury said in an emailed statement.

LGIM does not see a clear reason for the Anglo board to change stance unless BHP offers a reasonable premium to the underlying fair value of Anglo's assets, he added.

Edited by Bloomberg

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