On 14 May 2024, Anglo American plc set out a clear plan to unlock significant value from its portfolio and accelerate the delivery of consistently stronger shareholder returns.

Duncan Wanblad, chief executive of Anglo American, commented: “We set out our clear strategic priorities earlier this year – operational excellence, portfolio simplification and growth. 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.

 

Simplified portfolio: copper, premium iron ore, crop nutrients

Following completion of the asset review initiated during 2023, the company says it plans to implement a number of major structural changes to accelerate delivery against its strategic priorities of operational excellence, portfolio simplification and growth:

Undiluted shareholder participation in a simpler portfolio of assets with full value transparency

  • Copper
    • 3 of the top 10 producing copper mines in South America, with outstanding resource endowments
    • Set for multiple decades of competitive production and growth, with a defined pathway to >1mtpa of copper production
  • Premium iron ore
    • Focused producer of 100% premium product, ideally suited to support steel decarbonisation
    • Attractive resource endowments in Brazil and South Africa
  • Crop nutrients
    • Slow down development to support balance sheet deleveraging, while critical technical studies are completed in 2025, to then support syndication. Capex reduced to USD200-million in 2025 and no capex in 2026
    • Preserving long-term value from high quality asset with multi-generational resource scale
  • Compelling value proposition exclusively for Anglo American’s shareholders
    • Portfolio and structure transformation – 100% future-enabling portfolio, including 54% copper production, in products that support the energy transition, improving global living standards and food security
    • Outstanding organic growth – Proven project delivery and sustainability leadership
    • High quality financial profile – EBITDA margin increases to 46% from 31% on a 2023 pro forma basis1
    • Efficiency and accountability – USD1.7-billion lower cost of new portfolio configuration. This includes USD0.8-billion of additional pre-tax recurring annual run rate cost benefits from the end of 20252
    • Disciplined capital allocation – less than 1.5x net debt: EBITDA leverage at bottom of the cycle, with 40% dividend payout maintained
  • Clear pathway for portfolio value delivery – in the right way and for value
    • Steelmaking coal– To be divested and currently responding to strong buyer interest
    • Nickel – Exploring options for care and maintenance and divestment
    • Anglo American Platinum– To be demerged in a responsible and orderly way to optimise value for both Anglo American’s and Anglo American Platinum’s shareholders
    • De Beers– To be divested or demerged, to improve strategic flexibility for both De Beers and Anglo American

Wanblad explained, “Anglo American’s shareholders will see the full undiluted upside from these extensive changes, with the value of our copper and iron ore assets brought to the fore. This next step in the transformation of Anglo American’s portfolio is set to accelerate the recognition of value that has been inherent in our business for many years and provide Anglo American’s shareholders with undiluted and differentiated participation in the major structural demand trends, while minimising any frictional costs associated with this major portfolio transformation.

“These actions represent the most radical changes to Anglo American in decades. I believe these are the right decisions to position Anglo American to capitalise on the outstanding resource endowment opportunities within our portfolio today. Our proven and differentiated capabilities within Anglo American, our global relationship networks and our longstanding reputation as a responsible mining company will help us unlock numerous of these and other opportunities in the jurisdictions where our experience and track record are most valuable and most valued, namely in South America and Southern Africa.

“Of course, we are conscious of the impacts of making such far-reaching changes, particularly on our employees. We see considerable opportunities for our employees, both in delivering the full potential of Anglo American and in the businesses that we will be divesting or demerging, all of which are high quality businesses in their own right. By implementing these portfolio changes ourselves, we will be able to do so in a manner that is respectful of our employees, host communities and countries, including ensuring that in South Africa in particular Anglo American continues to play its role as a responsible business leader to support the country’s national priorities.

“We are taking clear and decisive action to deliver value – safely, responsibly and reliably – in the long-term interests of our shareholders and other stakeholders, and to deliver the products that are so critical to enabling the energy transition and supporting improved global living standards and food security.” 

Footnotes: 

1 2023 Pro-forma financials represent 2023 reported performance of the retained business adjusted for the incremental USD0.6-billion of corporate cost savings (relating to corporate and business overheads and corporate projects and initiatives) included in the QFBS and USD0.2-billion of previously announced corporate cost savings not already recognised in 2023, reflecting the cost of the ongoing corporate business supporting the retained businesses. 

2 The statements above labelled by way of footnote 2 include a quantified financial benefits statement (the “QFBS Footnoted Statements”) for the purposes of Rule 28 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), which have been reported on in accordance with the requirements of the Takeover Code in the form set out in Part A to the Appendix (the “Quantified Financial Benefits Statement”). Further information on the Quantified Financial Benefits Statement, including the basis of preparation and principal assumptions, are set out in the Appendix to this announcement. As required by Rule 28.1(a) of the Takeover Code, the Quantified Financial Benefits Statement has been reported on by KPMG LLP (“KPMG”), as reporting accountant to Anglo American, and Centerview Partners UK LLP (“Centerview”), Goldman Sachs International (“Goldman Sachs”) and Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc (“Morgan Stanley”), as financial advisers to Anglo American, have provided the relevant reports required under that Rule. Copies of these reports are included in Parts B and C of the Appendix to this announcement and references in this announcement to the QFBS Footnoted Statements should be read in conjunction with those parts of the Appendix. As required by Rule 28.1(a) of the Takeover Code, KPMG, as reporting accountant to Anglo American, has provided a report (set out in Part B of the Appendix) stating that, in its opinion, the Quantified Financial Benefits Statement has been properly compiled on the basis stated. In addition, Centerview, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, as financial advisers to Anglo American, have provided a report (set out in Part C of the Appendix) for the purposes of the Takeover Code stating that, in their opinion and subject to the terms of the report, the Quantified Financial Benefits Statement, for which the Anglo American directors are responsible, has been prepared with due care and consideration. Each of KPMG, Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley has given and has not withdrawn its consent to the publication of its report in the form and context in which it is included.