Gwede Mantashe does not like Anglo deal

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe signalled his opposition to BHP Group’s proposed takeover of Anglo American.

The offer by the world’s largest miner envisages an all-share deal in which Anglo American would first spin off controlling stakes in South African platinum and iron-ore companies to its shareholders before being acquired by BHP. The proposal values Anglo American at £31.1 billion.

“I wouldn’t support it,” Mantashe said by phone on Thursday. “I don’t think Anglo will agree to that. I wouldn’t if I was on the board.”

Anglo American is the fourth-biggest stock in the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index, with a weighting of 4.3%. The company owns majority stakes in two other South African listed miners — Anglo American Platinum Ltd., or Amplats, and Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. — and South Africa’s state pension fund manager is its biggest shareholder.

The plan to demerge Amplats and Kumba “makes sense” because what BHP really wants is Anglo American’s Latin American copper assets, said Nic Stein, a fund manager at Cape Town-based Coronation Asset Management, which owns about 0.9% of Anglo American.

He described BHP’s per-share offer of about £25.08 as “on the light side” and said it was either likely to be raised or other suitors might enter the fray.

South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said it was too early to comment on the proposed deal.

“We are not familiar with the nature and details of the deal and its implications for South Africa,” he said in an interview at a briefing in Johannesburg. “I hope their attempt is not to clean, is not to destroy the South African operations.”