- Anglo CEO Cutifani had said assets could be sold by May
- Co. divesting business as part of cost, debt cutting plan
Mosaic Co., the world’s largest producer of phosphate fertilizer, and a group led by Vale SA are among suitors picked to make final bids for Anglo American Plc’s niobium and phosphate business in Brazil, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Brazil’s Vale is bidding with buyout firm Apollo Global Management, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. Eurochem Group AG was also shortlisted to make a final offer for the assets, which could fetch as much as $1.5 billion, the people said.
Anglo Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said in February there were 16 bidders for the assets and they could be sold by May. The London-based miner, which now focuses on diamonds, copper and platinum, put the Brazilian business up for sale last year as part of a wider plan to cut costs and debt amid a global rout in commodity prices.
After reporting a $5.6 billion loss last year, Anglo is accelerating asset sales in iron ore and coal production to raise as much as $4 billion this year. It expects to make 10 asset sales by the end of the second quarter, Cutifani said in February.
X2 Resources, the private-equity firm founded by former Xstrata Ltd. chief Mick Davis, and South32 Ltd. were also considering bidding for the niobium and phosphate business, people with knowledge of the process said in February.
A spokesman for Anglo said that the sales process is progressing as planned, while declining to comment further. Spokesmen for Eurochem and Mosaic declined to comment, while representatives for Apollo and Vale didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Anglo is selling metallurgical coal mines in Australia, a nickel business in Brazil and stakes in its manganese assets in South Africa and Australia, the company said in February. Last year it sold two copper mines in Chile to a group of investors led by Audley Capital Advisors LLP for $300 million in cash upfront.