Anglo American mulls sale of De Beers' London headquarters as part of asset sell-off

 
Kasmira Jefford
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De Beers controlled the global flow of diamonds from its offices at 17 Charterhouse House street for decades (Source: Getty)

Anglo American is considering selling its diamond subsidiary De Beers’ headquarters in Farringdon as part of major cost-cutting plans revealed last week.

The FTSE 100 miner posted a $5.4bn loss for 2015 – the largest in its history – prompting chief executive Mark Cutifani to set out an aggressive restructuring plan to boost its cash flow and cut debt.

It plans to ramp up its asset disposal programme to $5bn-$6bn by the end of this year, mainly by reducing the number of mines it operates from 55 at the end of 2014 to just 16.

However, this could also include selling De Beers’ head offices on Charterhouse Street, which is around the corner from London’s famed diamond district Hatton Garden, and relocating staff to Anglo American’s offices near Charing Cross instead.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Moving the De Beers office to Anglo’s office is an option on the table. We are considering it.”

A sale of the site would come three years after Anglo American transferred De Beers’ rough diamond sorting operations to Botswana’s capital Gabarone, ending more than 80 years in London. Botswana owns 15 per cent of De Beers.

The building at 17 Charterhouse Street could be worth around £125m, The Sunday Times said, citing property sources.

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