De Beers moving out of historic London HQ
De Beers, the world’s largest supplier of diamonds by value, will be leaving its historic headquarters in London, parent company Anglo American (LON:AAL) has informed.
In an internal memo sent Friday, Anglo told De Beers staff they will have to leave the offices in Charterhouse St. and join the rest of the group at the Carlton House Terrace offices, also in London, Bloomberg reports.
The change of address is part of Anglos’ major restructuring, detailed in February, which aims to raise $4 billion in asset sales to cut its debt burden.
The famous De Beers office, adjacent to the Hatton Garden diamond district, is one of the assets Anglo is considering to sell. At its peak, it sold over 80% of the world’s diamonds through The De Beers Sight operations, which moved to Gaborone in Botswana in 2013.
Diamond prices came under pressure in 2015 after lacklustre retail demand and tighter credit terms forced dealers and polishers to cut back on purchases of rough stones. De Beers responded by reducing rough diamond prices by about 15% and trimming output, including the closure of mines in Canada and Botswana.
Its diamond production has continued to fall this year in response to market condition, with output dropping 10% to 6.9 million carats in the first quarter of 2016, Anglo American unveiled this week.
Shares in Anglo were down more than 4% in afternoon trading in London, but in general they have experienced an exceptional recovery this year after a plunge of more than 70% in 2015.