Anglo American Plc Announced to Sell Its Share in Kumba Iron Ore

By Staff Writer

Feb 16, 2016 06:40 AM EST

Anglo American Plc is one of the largest mining company in the world, and the largest producer of platinum. Following decline in earnings, the company announced to sell its share in South African's Kumba Iron Ore Ltd.

On Tuesday, Anglo American Plc reported its underlying earnings before interest and tax fell 55% to $2.2 billion from $4.9 billion a year earlier. Reuters reported that Thomson Reuters analysts' forecasted,the company's annual earnings before interest and tax would be $1.5 billion, down 70% year-on-year.

Previously on Monday, ratings agency Moody's downgraded Anglo credit rating. Moody's noted low commodity prices is a serious problem for the company to pay its debt. The global commodity rout has also hit the company performance severely, and it planned to sell its shares in Kumba Iron Ore.

Chief Financial Officer Rene Medori told Bloomberg in a conference call, "We're looking at either a selldown in our position in Kumba as well as a potential demerger." Currently the company own 69.7% shares of the Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. However, Medori added the company did not expect to achieve the transaction until 2017.

The London-based mining company has been under pressure with the 67% plunge of iron ore price. Since 2012, Giant miners such as BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Plc increased their production and flooded the market, creating a supply glut worldwide. As a result, profit margin of Kumba plunge to 11% from 27% and the company must cut 4,000 jobs and cut dividend.

Anglo will evaluate its option to exit from Kumba operation. Kumba Iron Ore Ltd is the largest iron ore mining company in Africa and the fourth-largest in the world.

Head of research at Momentum S.P. Reid Securities in Johannesburg Stephen Meintjes said regarding the Anglo plan to sell its shares in Kumba, "Anglo is under a lot of pressure to liquidate assets and this might be easier to get rid of."

Meanwhile Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani told in a statement as quoted by Financial Times, "We are already engaged with parties interested in several of our assets, but we will only complete those transactions which deliver appropriate value for our investors. So, while we have accelerated our disposal processes, and given our targeted positive free cash flow and our robust liquidity position, we will take appropriate time to secure value outcomes from the disposal programme."

CEO Cutifani is planning a strategy to restructure Anglo American in three main business: diamonds, platinum group metals and copper. He also seeks to reduce capital expenditure and dispose $6 billion of its assets within this year.

Even Anglo American Plc, one of the world's largest mining company is unable to avoid suffering from global commodity rout. The company plan to restructure its business and sell its share in Kumba Iron Ore Ltd to recover its business.

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