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Anglo American to break itself up after rejecting £34bn BHP bid

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Anglo American is planning to break itself up after the mining group rejected a £34bn takeover bid from rival BHP.

The 107-year-old company said on Tuesday it would sell or demerge its De Beers diamond business, its Anglo American Platinum operation and its coking coal assets.

Under the sweeping changes, Anglo will instead focus on its copper, iron ore and crop nutrients businesses.

Chief executive Duncan Wanblad has been under intense pressure to set out a future for Anglo as a standalone group after rejecting an improved bid from BHP that valued the company at £34bn.

Anglo also said it would scale back plans for Woodsmith, its bet on a huge underground mine in the UK that would produce a new kind of fertiliser.

Wanblad said on Tuesday: “Our decision to focus Anglo American’s portfolio in our world-class resource asset base in copper and premium iron ore — while retaining our crop nutrients optionality at Woodsmith — marks a major new phase in executing our strategy.

“We expect that a radically simpler business will deliver sustainable incremental value creation through a step change in operational performance and cost reduction.”

With demand for copper forecast to climb as the world decarbonises, BHP, the world’s biggest miner, has set its sights on securing Anglo’s valuable copper assets.

Anglo shareholders have predicted that the group would struggle to sustain its current structure and fend off the approach from BHP.

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