Anglo American PLC History

20 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AN
United Kingdom

Telephone: (44) 0 20 7698 8888
Fax: (44) 0 20 7698 8500

Public Company
Incorporated: 1999
Employees: 204,000
Sales: $19.3 billion (2002)
Stock Exchanges: Botswana Johannesburg London Namibia Switzerland
Ticker Symbol: AAL
NAIC: 212111 Bituminous Coal and Lignite Surface Mining; 212112 Bituminous Coal Underground Mining; 212221 Gold Ore Mining; 421840 Diamonds Wholesaling (Except Industrial); 212299 All Other Metal Ore Mining

Company Perspectives:

Anglo American PLC, with its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates, is a global leader in the mining and natural resources sectors. It has significant and focused interests in gold, platinum, diamonds, coal, base and ferrous metals, industrial minerals and forest products, as well as financial and technological strength. The Group is geographically diverse, with operations and developments in Africa, Europe, South and North America, and Australia. Anglo American represents a powerful world of resources.

Key Dates:

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer founds Anglo American Corporation of South Africa (AAC).
AAC becomes the largest single shareholder in De Beers.
AAC's involvement in coal becomes significant through SA Coal Estates.
The major industrial and commercial interests of AAC are incorporated into Anglo American Industrial Corporation (Amic); Scaw Metals is acquired as a prologue to entering the steel industry on a large scale.
AAC creates the Mondi group and gains entry into the paper/timber industry.
Anglo American Coal Corporation (Amcoal) is formed and acquires Greenfield's Collieries, becoming one of the world's largest private sector coal exporters; the company acquires its first offshore expansion through Minorco's acquisition of Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting.
AAC becomes the first South African mining house to encourage the recognition of black trade unions.
Jwaneng Diamond Mine in Botswana opens and becomes one of the world's chief gem producers.
Minorco acquires the non-African assets of AAC, excluding diamonds, while AAC acquires all the African assets of Minorco.
AAC combines with Minorco to establish Anglo American PLC.
Anglo American PLC lists on the London Stock Exchange and enters the FTSE 100.
Anglo American PLC eliminates its cross-holding with De Beers, increasing its interest in De Beers from 32 percent to 45 percent.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Ball, Deborah, "Funds Will Reject Oppenheimer, Anglo American Bid for De Beers," Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2001, p. A16.
  • Block, Robert, "An $18.7 Billion Buyout of De Beers Appears Imminent," Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2001, p. A17.
  • ------, "De Beers Owners Weigh Plan to Delist Diamond Giant," Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2001, p. A8.
  • "Dancing Partners: Business in South Africa," Economist, April 27, 1996, pp. 70-71.
  • Fuhrman, Peter, "Harry Oppenheimer, African Empire Builder, Is Smiling Again," Forbes, September 16, 1991, pp. 130-37.
  • Gregory, Theodore, Ernest Oppenheimer and the Economic Development of Southern Africa, Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1962.
  • Hocking, Anthony, Oppenheimer and Son, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973.
  • Innes, Duncan, Anglo American and the Rise of Modern South Africa, London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1984.
  • Jessop, Edward, Ernest Oppenheimer: A Study in Power, London: Rex Collings, 1979.
  • Kanfer, Stefan, The Last Empire: De Beers, Diamonds, and the World, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1993.
  • Nevin, Tom, "Anglo, De Beers to Split?" African Business, January 2001, p. 30.
  • ------, "'Think Again, Anglo,' Says Anderson Mazoka," African Business, March 2002, p. 40.
  • "A New Scramble," Economist, August 12, 1995, pp. 17-19.
  • "Not a Golden Titan, More Like a Pig in a Poke," Economist, October 7, 1995, pp. 67-68.
  • Pallister, David, Sarah Stewart, and Ian Lepper, South Africa Inc.: The Oppenheimer Empire, London: Simon & Schuster, rev. ed., 1987.
  • Stein, Nicholas, "The De Beers Story: A New Cut on an Old Monopoly," Fortune, February 19, 2001, pp. 186-206.
  • Williams, Stephen, "Shock as Anglo Pulls Out of Konkola," African Business, March 2002, p. 41.
  • Wright, Chris, "Now Anglo American Migrates to London," Corporate Finance, January 1999, p. 4.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 50. St. James Press, 2003.