Codelco not worried over potential Anglo chief's exit

The chairman of Chile's state-owned Codelco, Gerardo Jofre, said Tuesday that an eventual change of management in London-based Anglo American (LSE:AAL) shouldn’t affect the ongoing negotiations between the miners over the long-disputed assets in the south of the country.

British media reported Monday that Anglo’s top shareholders are demanding that CEO Cynthia Carroll be shown the door.

With a share price down 26% in six months, shareholders fear that the world's largest platinum producer could be the target of a hostile takeover. That is why those who have lost their faith in the company's leadership, have contacted the chairman of Anglo American, John Parker, demanding that he begin looking for another CEO.

Codelco’s executive Cofre said the negotiations are between companies, not individuals and that he is confident any change will not affect the talks. He added, it is very unlikely an agreement between the parties is announced before the conciliation hearing set for August 24, according to Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

The world's largest copper producer and Anglo have been caught in a legal battle since late last year over contracts affecting the diversified miner’s Anglo Sur division, which includes the world’s fifth largest copper mine.

In May, the parties agreed to put their legal battle on hold and resume explore the chance of reaching an agreement. A day after this announcement, Codelco CEO Diego Hernandez resigned claiming “personal reasons,” which gave room for speculations.

The clash between Anglo American and Codelco goes back to November last year, when the copper giant decided to exercise an option and Anglo American responded by selling a 24.5% stake in its southern Chilean division to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. for $5.39 billion. By doing this, Anglo undermined Codelco plans to exercise its option, something that the copper miner could only have done in January.

A failed attempt by Codelco to force Mitsubishi to hand over the particulars of the deal in December drove the Chilean company back to the courts by formally informing Anglo American that it was “exercising its legal option” to buy the contested 49% in Anglo Sur.

Anglo American is one of Chile’s largest foreign investors.