Anglo American starts boardroom shake-up with Hampton appointment

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The Independent Online

Anglo American has appointed Sir Philip Hampton to its board as the mining group continues its restructuring programme aimed at rewarding shareholders for eschewing Xstrata's approach for the group.

Sir Philip, the chairman of 84 per cent state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, joins Anglo as a non-executive director, and is the first of a trio of expected appointments.

Anglo's new chairman, Sir John Parker, who spent his first two months in the job persuading investors to reject Xstrata's nil premium, merger of equals, bid for the company, said: "I am delighted to welcome Sir Philip Hampton to Anglo American, the first in a series of appointments as we refresh the board. Sir Philip brings a wealth of financial, strategic and boardroom experience across a number of industries and I look forward to working with him as we continue to deliver value at Anglo American."

Until February, Sir Philip was chairman of J Sainsbury, which in 2007 he helped to defend in the face of a bid by the Qatari investment vehicle Delta Two. Before joining J Sainsbury in 2004, he acted as finance director of Lloyds TSB, BG Group and BT.

Sir Rob Margetts and Chris Fay will retire from the board at Anglo's next AGM in April.

Sir Philip's appointment comes as Anglo American embarks on a wide-ranging restructuring effort, designed to unlock value and prove to the market that the company has a future as an independent miner.

The company declared Xstrata's interest "dead and buried" last month when it walked away from the deal after Anglo's shareholders backed the company's turnaround plans.

"Since Xstrata 'shut up' on its approach to Anglo on 15 October, the shares have outperformed the sector and Xstrata significantly," said Michael Rawlinson, a mining analyst at Liberum Capital. "Indeed 'Anglo Core' has gone from being an undervalued underperforming sub sector of the company to something we see as being fairly valued relative to its still cheap peer group."

Under Takeover Panel rules, Xstrata is unable to approach Anglo for six months, but has suggested that it may look to reignite the deal at a later date. Anglo has cut management costs, which it says will save $120m a year, and has indicated that it will sell a number of non-core assets and look to make other savings.