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Investors Urge Anglo American for Swift Turnaround Amid BHP Takeover Threat

London— Shareholders of Anglo American Plc are pressing the company to expedite its turnaround strategy in response to a takeover bid from BHP Group Ltd. The 107-year-old mining giant has been reassessing its operations since mid-2023 to overhaul a business that has recently lagged behind its competitors. This process has been disrupted by BHP’s acquisition approach.

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Shareholders are demanding a swift conclusion to the strategic review and clarity on how Anglo’s proposed plan could offer more value than a sale to BHP. Discussions with some of Anglo’s largest stakeholders highlight the urgency of the situation.

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There are signs that Anglo may reveal its strategy in the coming week, possibly at Bank of America Corp.’s annual conference in Miami, where top mining executives gather. However, the exact timing remains uncertain, particularly with the possibility of a renewed bid from BHP and potential public statements from Elliott Investment Management, a significant Anglo shareholder.

CEO Duncan Wanblad has previously cautioned against rushing decisions in volatile market cycles. Nevertheless, the mining industry is closely monitoring Anglo’s response to BHP’s advances and Elliott’s potential involvement.

BHP has proposed splitting off Anglo’s South African businesses and acquiring the remaining assets, including copper mines. Anglo rejected this proposal, citing undervaluation and practical challenges with the spinoff plan. Investors are eager to understand Anglo’s plans for its diamond business De Beers, the Woodsmith fertilizer project in northern England, and its South African operations.

There is investor pressure to reconsider spending on the Woodsmith project, with suggestions ranging from seeking partnerships to halting development. Some investors view De Beers as a misfit for Anglo due to the distinct marketing needs of diamonds compared to other commodities, although De Beers remains a prestigious asset despite the current market downturn.

While the diamond market is experiencing challenges, Anglo is unlikely to entertain undervalued offers for De Beers, recognizing its significance and prestige.

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