Anil Agarwal to exit Anglo American, firm owns De Beers diamonds, two years after becoming largest shareholder

New Delhi: Two years after becoming the biggest shareholder of the firm that owns De Beers diamonds, metals tycoon Anil Agarwal announced an exit from Anglo American by divesting his near 20 percent stake.

He had in March 2017, began buying into Anglo American through a JP Morgan mandatory convertible bond and by the time he bought a second tranche in September 2017, his stake in the mining group totalled to 19.3 percent.

The bonds were to mature next year but Agarwal decided to exercise a call option and take profits on his investment.

Agarwal is said to have made about $500 million before costs from the deal.

"At the time of Volcan's (Agarwal's family trust) initial investment, I explained that this was an attractive financial investment in a great company with excellent assets and a strong board and management team," he said in a statement.

 Anil Agarwal to exit Anglo American, firm owns De Beers diamonds, two years after becoming largest shareholder

A file photo of Anil Agarwal. Image courtesy: Twitter/@AnilAgarwal_Ved

"This has turned out to be the case, with our target returns achieved even sooner than expected. The share price of Anglo American has close to doubled since Volcan invested, delivering attractive gains to all investors."

In a separate statement, Vedanta Ltd said its overseas subsidiary, Cairn India Holdings Ltd (CIHL) will exit its investments in Anglo American Plc.

In December 2018, CIHL purchased an economic interest through a structured investment in equity shares of Anglo-American Plc, from Volcan Investments - Agarwal's family trust, for a total consideration of Rs 3,812 crore.

"CIHL and Volcan Investments Ltd have agreed to unwind entirely the structured investment entered between them in December 2018, ahead of the originally envisaged schedule," Vedanta said in a statement.

"With this, Volcan will exercise the early exchange option available to it on 26 July, 2019, and consequent to this the full exchange of its two issues of mandatory exchangeable bonds secured by shares in Anglo American plc will settle on 12 August, 2019."

This structure was to mature in parts in April 2020 and October 2020 but Cairn is exiting the same ahead of the originally envisaged schedule.

"The share price of Anglo American has close to doubled, since Volcan invested, delivering attractive gains to all investors," the statement said.

The investment by CIHL, which was entered into as part of its cash management activities, has delivered a net gain of over $100 million in the 8 month period it was held, it added.

Cash proceeds from the settlement of the transaction will be paid to CIHL on 13 August, 2019.

Chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said: "We are pleased this structured investment has achieved a superior return for CIHL, as we expected when it was entered into. Our strategy continues to be to focus on our existing businesses, where we believe that there are significant opportunities to unlock their full potential."

"The unwinding reflects our disciplined approach to treasury management and capital allocation together with our commitment at all times to act in the interests of all shareholders," he said.

Following the redemption of the structured instrument, completed with due Board approvals, CIHL will have no further economic exposure to Anglo American plc shares.

Updated Date: Jul 26, 2019 13:41:32 IST