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BHP makes £31bn offer for Anglo American

The combined entity will have a leading portfolio of tier-one assets, focused on iron-ore, metallurgical coal and future facing commodities, including potash and copper.

ALL ABOUT COPPER: The Quellaveco mine in Peru is a 300 000 t/y operation.

Anglo American's corporate head office in South Africa

25th April 2024

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Diversified mining major BHP on Thursday announced a proposed all-share offer that values Anglo American at £31.1-billion. The deal has the potential to transform the mining industry landscape.

BHP offered Anglo shareholders £25.08 a share, including £4.86 a share for Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) shares and £3.40 a share for Kumba Iron Ore shares.

The proposition entails Anglo demerging its holdings in South Africa-focused Amplats – the world’s leading platinum group metals miner –  and Kumba Iron Ore to its shareholders. These components of the proposal are mutually dependent.

Anglo's stock surged about 17% on the London exchange on Thursday, trading at £25.64 apiece.

The combined entity, BHP pointed out, would have a leading portfolio of large, low-cost, long-life tier-one assets focused on iron-ore and metallurgical coal, as well as future facing commodities, including potash and copper.

"From a strategic standpoint, bigger is always better in the metals and mining sector," CreditSights analysts Wen Li and Michael O'Brien said in a note.

The analysts believe that BHP is also likely drawn by Anglo's low valuation with its stock down 12% over the last year.

London- and Johannesburg-listed Anglo is going through a multi-year operational restructuring with the group having initiated an asset review to "optimise value by simplifying and improving the quality of its portfolio".

BHP has been looking to grow its position in copper and the metal is a standout within the Anglo portfolio.

Cited by newswire Reuters, Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager Ben Cleary said that the potential tie-up was "all about copper".

"I think it's a good deal for BHP. Anglo is obviously very much in play now and there’s probably room for others to interlope. This is going to set the whole sector on fire," the news agency quoted Cleary as saying.

Copper currently represents 30% of Anlgo's total production, with the business strategically positioned to capitalise on major demand themes, supported by several organic growth options. In its recently released first-quarter production report, Anglo reported an 11% increase in copper production, driven by strong performances from its Quellaveco operation in Peru, and Collahuasi and El Soldado in Chile.

Anglo is targeting copper production of between 730 000 t and 790 000 t in 2024.

BHP, which last year bought Australian copper miner Oz Minerals for A$9.6-billion, is aiming for copper production of between 1.7-million and 1.9-million tons for the financial year to the end of June.

DE BEERS SALE?
BHP would also gain Anglo American’s diamond interests in the form of De Beers, but said that the diamond business would be subject to a strategic review post completion.

The Melbourne-headquartered miner exited diamonds in 2012,when it sold its Canadian Ekati diamond operation.

In a process separate to the BHP takeover bid, Anglo is reportedly looking at selling De Beers. Citing unnamed people, the Wall Street Journal reports that Anglo has held discussions with potential buyers, including luxury houses and Gulf sovereign-wealth funds, in recent weeks.

The combined entity would retain BHP's global listings on the ASX, LSE, JSE and NYSE.

In a statement on Thursday, Anglo said it was evaluating the proposal with the assistance of its advisers.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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