CRITICISED in 2015 for responding sluggishly to the correction in metal prices, Mark Cutifani unveiled drastic measures in which the company would sell $3bn to $4bn in assets – including iron ore and coal – and take net debt to below $10bn from $13bn. And then to everyone’s surprise the market turned. Anglo became the best performing diversified mining stock as cash flows soared, releasing the pressure to sell many assets at all. A $1.8bn corporate bond buy-back, the sale of Anglo’s $1.5bn niobium and phosphates assets and 9.7% stake in Exxaro Resources worth $215m, coupled with improved prices, may be enough to help Cutifani reach the net debt target. Quite where this leaves his plan to transform Anglo into a slimmed down platinum, diamonds and copper producer is a bit of a head-scratcher. The divestment of Anglo’s South African assets will proceed, however. Intensive lobbying from shareholder, the Public Investment Corporation could see Anglo demerge its coal and iron ore (Kumba) assets into a separately-listed company, although it’s doubtful Anglo will add platinum assets into the mix. Change is inevitable. Cutifani lost his erstwhile CFO, René Medori and moved De Beers from its historic Charterhouse Street offices, but 2017 is Anglo American’s 100th anniversary and Cutifani - now entering his fourth year as CEO - will want to front a company that has a clear path.
LIFE OF MARK
Cutifani has a degree in mining engineering from Wollongong University. He worked initially for a string of Australian gold miners, but then shifted to nickel becoming COO at Vale Inco before joining AngloGold Ashanti as CEO in 2007. He moved to run Anglo in April 2013.
“Don’t bet against us.”
- Web Address: www.angloamerican.co.uk