Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani Says No To Spin Off

The Financial Times reports that Anglo American(AAUKY) has significant assets it would like to divest, CEO Mark Cutifani feels the company can do better by selling off assets piecemeal than by following in the path of BHP Billiton(BHP) and spinning them off to shareholders.

But Mr Cutifani said the “portfolio work” at Anglo would entail a number of discrete sales of assets. “We think we can do better on a piece-by-piece basis,” he told the Financial Times.

His strategy contrasts with that of Andrew Mackenzie, BHP’s chief executive, who said that piecemeal sales would have been too time-consuming and risky compared with his demerger plans. BHP is to spin off almost all of its unwanted assets to its own shareholders via a company listed in Australia.

Anglo has already said it will get out of part of its platinum business after a long strike in South Africa, though any exit could take well into next year. The miner also struck a deal with Lafarge to sell its stake in their Lafarge-Tarmac joint venture, for at least £885m.

Among other assets that could be sold are a stake in Quellaveco, a copper project in Peru. Anglo is thought likely to try to find a partner to cut its cost of building the mine.

Mr Cutifani has also considered a sale of Anglo’s nickel business. However, a revival in the nickel market this year is making the miner consider whether it should hold on to the assets.

Depending on how the sale processes go and how BHP’s spinoff performs, there may still be a spinoff in Anglo’s future, but it appears that we won’t see one in the short term.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in any stock mentioned