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Oppenheimer diamond family’s exit from De Beers completed

The Oppenheimer family’s 80-plus years of involvement in diamond mining giant De Beers has now come to an end, following the completion of its share sale to Anglo American.

The Oppenheimer family’s 80-plus years of involvement in diamond mining giant De Beers has now come to an end, following the completion of its share sale to Anglo American.

A statement by Anglo said the South African family has sold its 40% stake in De Beers to the UK-based miner in a deal valued at $5.2 billion (€4.22 billion).

First announced in November last year, the move takes Anglo’s stake in De Beers to 85%, while the remaining shares are held by the government of Botswana.

Ernest Oppenheimer founded Anglo in Johannesburg in 1917 and took control of De Beers in 1927.

The world’s largest diamond producer in terms of revenues – it had sales of $7.4 billion in 2011, up from $5.9 billion the year before – the group was chaired by family member Nicky Oppenheimer until last year.

“After careful and deliberate consideration of the offer, and what is in the best interests of the family, we unanimously agreed to accept Anglo American’s offer,” Nicky said at the time of announcing the family’s exit.

The sale has made the already very wealthy Oppenheimer family richer. The Sunday Times Rich List reckoned Nicky’s fortune ballooned 40% after the sale to more than £4 billion (€5.1 billion).

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