Oppenheimers to Boost Temasek JV Funding With De Beers Cash

The Oppenheimer family, the mining dynasty selling out of De Beers for $5.1 billion, will use part of the proceeds to boost funds in its private-equity joint venture with Temasek Holdings Pte, Nicky Oppenheimer said.

Tana Africa Capital, the venture with Temasek unit Sennett Investments, focuses mainly on consumer and agricultural businesses. The family will invest the bulk of the proceeds from the De Beers deal in Africa, Oppenheimer said today by telephone from Johannesburg.

Anglo American Plc (AAL) said today it agreed to buy the Oppenheimers’ 40 percent stake in De Beers, ending the family’s 80-year ownership in the world’s largest diamond miner. The transaction will increase Anglo’s 45 percent stake to as much as 85 percent, the London-based company said in a statement.

Nicky Oppenheimer, grandson of Anglo founder Ernest Oppenheimer, built De Beers into a business that now supplies about a third of the world’s rough diamonds. He plans to step down as chairman of the Johannesburg-based company once the deal is completed, he said.

Tana Africa Capital will be “investing significantly in Africa” and will conclude a transaction in the continent’s fast-moving consumer goods industry within eight weeks, James Teeger, managing director of E. Oppenheimer & Son Group, said today by phone from Johannesburg. He declined to identify the deal or the country where it will take place.

‘Fair Offer’

The Oppenheimers agreed to sell their stake in De Beers after Anglo put a “fair offer” on the table, Nicky Oppenheimer said, adding that the family won’t rule out making future investments in the mining industry.

“The Oppenheimers can’t participate in any diamonds business for two years post completion” of the deal, Hulisani Rasivhaga, a spokeswoman for Anglo, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Nicky Oppenheimer stepped down as a non-executive director of Anglo in April, marking the first time a member of the family hasn’t sat on the board since the company was founded. The Oppenheimers sold about 64 million pounds ($102 million) of shares in Anglo last December, after selling 1.13 percent of the company in 2006 to billionaire Larry Yung’s China Vision Resources for about $803 million.

The family retains a stake of about 2 percent in Anglo, and has “no intention at this stage” of reducing its holding further, Teeger said. E. Oppenheimer & Son is the family’s investment holding company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jana Marais in Johannesburg at jmarais@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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