ENRC plans to split off controversial African mines
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Monday 07 May 2012
Controversial FTSE-100 mining giant ENRC is in advanced talks to split off its African division which was at the heart of a bitter battle over the way it bought a lucrative mine in a deal involving the secretive tycoon Dan Gertler.
If it goes ahead with the deal, ENRC would put its African business into a separate UK stock market-quoted company known as ENRC International. The main business in Kazakhstan would continue as the rump ENRC.
The African business was boosted by the takeover of a stake in a mine in the Congo which had been seized from a Canadian operator in dubious circumstances by the governmentof Joseph Kabila. Mr Kabila sold it to his friend Mr Gertler, who in turn sold it on at a huge profit to ENRC. Canada's First Quantum mining group was furious and launched a legal battle which led to a $1.25bn settlement in January.
The company's reputation received a further battering last year when two City veterans – Sir Richard Sykes and Ken Olisa – were ejected from the board.
The ENRC shareholder Standard Life ditched its shares in disgust at the way the company – 44 per cent controlled by three Kazakh billionaires – behaved.
However, the new chairman, Mehmet Dalman, says he wants to clean up the business and improve its image.
The demerger, being plotted with the advice of the investment banks Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, is hoped to increase the value of both sides of the business for shareholders.
ENRC International would also include businesses in Brazil and Mozambique. The company wants to buy the remaining stake in the Congo mine still held by Mr Gertler, who has made himself a billionaire by striking close business ties with rising African leaders.
- 2 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 3 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 4 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Turkey duped the US, and Isis reaps rewards
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says jobless migrants should be banned from entering the UK
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...