Anglo American appoints takeovers expert as new chairman
Anglo American (LON:AAL), the world’s fifth largest diversified miner, has appointed Stuart Chambers to succeed Sir John Parker as chairman of the group.
Chambers, 61 and former chairman of UK chip designer Arm, will join Anglo as a non-executive director in September, replacing Parker in November.
The incoming executive is known for his active participation in the sale of several UK companies, including the one where he was chairman until 2016, as he oversaw the sale of Arm to Japan’s Softbank.
Chambers has also held a non-executive director position on the boards of Smiths Group and Tesco, after a career at Nippon Sheet Glass, Mars Corporation and Shell.
Anglo, which was founded in South Africa in 1917, came out in good shape from the recent and sharp rout in metal prices that hurt the mining industry in the past two years.
In February, the company not only posted its first annual net profit in five years, but chief executive Mark Cutifani has also announced there was no need to offload any more assets, even the iron ore, coal and nickel operations he had previously declared non-core.
While Chambers won’t have to deal with financial problems, he’ll need to foster good working ties with Anglo’s shareholders, including one of its newest investors, Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal.
Vedanta’s founder Agarwal announced in March it would invest $2.4 billion in Anglo, which gave his family trust — Volcan Investments — a 12% stake in the firm and made the buyer Anglo’s second-biggest investor.
So far Agarwal has said he thinks of the acquisition as an investment by Volcan, not by Vedanta, adding he is not seeking to take control of Anglo. But industry sources expect him to add to the pressure on Anglo American to deliver returns, following a fresh trend in the mining sector that is seeing activist shareholders demand drastic reforms.