De Beers Goes Private

It’s official: De Beers is now a private company. In March, De Beers’ shareholders overwhelmingly approved a plan that takes the company private for the first time in 100 years. Its new owners are the Oppenheimer family-owned holding company Central Holdings Limited, the De Beers-Botswana joint venture Debswana, and long-time sister company Anglo-American.

The consortium first announced plans to take the company private in January. However, leading investors turned thumbs down at the original bid of $43 a share. As a result, the bidders upped their price-per-share by $2, valuing the company at $19 billion.

Observers note that the takeover is essentially a leveraged buy-out and saddles the company with considerable debt.