De Beers May Go Private

De Beers is on the verge of becoming a private company for the first time in more than 100 years. Under a new plan recently approved by the De Beers board, three of its largest shareholders would increase their stake in the company, buying back all remaining shares and forming a new entity, DB Investments. The three shareholders are De Beers' "sister" company, Anglo American PLC, founded by the family of current De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer; Central Holding Limited, the Oppenheimer family holding company; and Debswana, the joint venture between De Beers and the government of Botswana. The offer of $43.17 a share values the company at $17.6 billion. For most of the past year, the company's stock was in the $20 to $30 range. While the board of De Beers recently accepted the deal, it is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Analyst reaction has been mixed, with some u

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