Statement on Anglo American and Proposed Take-Over Bids


The Church of England Pensions Board, a UK asset owner and a long-term shareholder in Anglo American, has today issued a statement on potential take-over bids for Anglo:

“The Church of England Pensions Board is concerned by the long-term risks posed to asset owners’ interests from any proposed takeover of Anglo American. Anglo is a globally significant diversified mining company that operates in key parts of the world, particularly in some important emerging and developing markets, and seeks to do so to the highest standards. Losing Anglo as a distinct entity may serve short-term financial interests, but as an asset owner we are not convinced that such consolidation will serve our long-term interests as a pension fund.   

Our position is not in any way a judgement of any company making a bid for Anglo, but rather a call for greater reflection by institutional investors as to what is at stake and at risk of being lost.  Mining has an absolutely vital role to play over the coming decades to provide the critical resources for the low carbon transition and other industrial activity, and we question if losing Anglo is the right market response. 

We need more companies like Anglo that are willing to grasp the opportunities of operating in emerging and developing markets such as Africa, not fewer. Seeing it swallowed up would risk damaging the enhanced role mining could play in key economies especially in Africa. The sector benefits from there being a race to the top among the major mining companies, and consolidation at this level removes a key actor in pursuit of a socially and environmentally responsible mining sector.   

Anglo has played a distinct role in driving best practice and was one of the first to support institutional investor calls for a different approach following the Brumadinho tailings disaster. It recognised that the social license of the sector was under threat and that the key to addressing challenging issues and building trust required multi-stakeholder approaches.  It is also Anglo that has championed the development of a multi-stakeholder approach to standards through initiatives such as IRMA.

As a UK pension fund we are keen that the London Stock Exchange remains a premium market for mining companies.   Rather than the prospect of losing Anglo, it would perhaps be more appropriate to consider what enhanced role Anglo and other companies could play in benefitting local and national populations, generating broader long term value and supporting economic development in mineral rich countries.”