In a development watched closely by people speculating about De Beers’ future, company chairman Nicky Oppenheimer’s family trust recently sold 33 percent of its holdings in Anglo American, the mining giant that owns 45 percent of De Beers.
What makes this particularly interesting is reports from news sources like Mineweb.com that Anglo is no longer happy with Nicky Oppenheimer’s stewardship.
Oppenheimer told the press that De Beers had no problem with Anglo, which recently got a new CEO, and the family just wanted to diversify its assets.
The Oppenheimers still hold more than 2 percent of Anglo American, which was founded by Nicky Oppenheimer’s grandfather, Ernest Oppenheimer.
The Oppenheimers declined to provide a price tag for the sale, but the buyer is China Vision, headed by Larry Yung, China’s second-richest person. News reports portrayed the purchase as another example of China’s penetration of Africa.