Anglo to meet top shareholders on BHP bid as takeover rules restrain AGM

2nd May 2024 By: Reuters

Anglo to meet top shareholders on BHP bid as takeover rules restrain AGM

Stuart Chambers

LONDON - Anglo American's chair will meet its top 30 shareholders to hear views on BHP's $39-billion bid for the miner, he told an annual general meeting on Tuesday, where he was restricted from discussing the spurned offer by takeover regulations.

Anglo rejected the offer on Friday, saying it was opportunistic, significantly undervaluing the company and its future prospects.

Some questions and comments from shareholders echoed broader concerns about the price and nature of BHP's bid.

"To what extent can you survive if you reject the offer?" one shareholder asked.

Chair Stuart Chambers said business was proceeding as usual, having asked shareholders at the start of the AGM for no questions about the bid because the company couldn't respond under restrictions applied by the UK Takeover Code.

The world's biggest listed mining group BHP is considering making an improved offer for Anglo, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.

"It's not the board that decides, but you," Chambers added.

Another shareholder thanked Chambers for rejecting "the comedy offer" from BHP, saying he valued the company at 41 pounds a share.

Under UK takeover rules, BHP has until May 22 to come back with a formal offer after the group said last week it would pay 25.08 pounds per Anglo share, a premium of 31% from the previous day's close.

Anglo shares were down 3.5% at 26.53 pounds on Tuesday.

In February Anglo announced a review of all its assets, after reporting a 94% plunge in annual profit and writedowns at its diamond and nickel operations.

At the time, CEO Duncan Wanblad said the two assets dragging on Anglo's portfolio were its Anglo Platinum and diamonds businesses.

A source told Reuters last week that Anglo was looking for partners for its De Beers diamonds business, which is among the assets BHP has said it would review after completion of any deal.

Last week's bid included a spin out of Anglo's iron-ore and platinum assets in South Africa, where BHP has no activities.