U.S. Markets closed

Indian billionaire to strengthen hold on Anglo American

Hannah Boland
Anil Agarwal would become Anglo's biggest shareholder if he invested a further £1.5bn in the group

Anil Agarwal, the Indian billionaire who earlier this year made a surprise £2bn investment in Anglo American, looks set to tighten his grip on the London-based miner, revealing plans to buy up to a further £1.5bn in shares. 

This would take his existing 13pc stake in Anglo to a holding of just over 20pc, meaning he would leapfrog Public Investment Corp to become the miner's largest stakeholder. All those shares have voting rights.

Anglo American last year rebuffed a takeover approach from Mr Agarwal, who was seeking to combine the business with Hindustan Zinc, the Indian miner he controls through FTSE 250-listed Vedanta Resources.

How to connect with us | Telegraph Business on social media

He said earlier this year that it had been a "good match" but that it was "a transaction that still needs to be digested", prompting speculation he would push for a tie-up. 

However, on the £2bn investment in Anglo earlier this year, Mr Agarwal had claimed he was not planning to make a takeover offer for the group and instead said the deal was an "attractive investment". 

Mr Agarwal is seeking to buy the additional shares through his family trust, Volcan Investments, and said he would invest between £1.25bn and £1.5bn. 

He said in a statement that he was "encouraged by the performance of Anglo American since our original investment earlier this year". 

"The company has made good progress in its operational and financial performance and remains an attractive investment for our family trust."

Anglo American in July said the surge in profits had helped it pay off more debt than planned, thanks to rising iron ore and coal prices. As such, it said it would be reinstating its dividend six months earlier than planned.

Analysis | How Anil Agarwal bought his stake in Anglo American