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Report: ITOCHU, Mitsui table bids for Anglo's manganese JV stake

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Report: ITOCHU, Mitsui table bids for Anglo's manganese JV stake

Japan's ITOCHUCorp. and Mitsui &Co. Ltd. have made separate offers for Anglo American Plc's 40% stake in Samancor, Bloomberg Newswrote April 28, citing "people with knowledge of the matter."

Anglo is mulling over the offers for its 40% interest in theSamancor manganese joint venture with BHPBilliton Group spinoff South32Ltd., which owns 60%. Anglo's stake may sell for up toUS$700 million, one of the sources told Bloomberg.

Samancor Manganese is the world's largest producer of manganesewith operations in South Africa and Australia. Its Australian operations includeGroote Eylandt,a manganese mine in the Northern Territory, and TEMCO, a manganese alloy plant inTasmania.

The joint venture's African operations include the manganese mines inthe Kalahari basin in South Africa. Its African operations also include Metalloys,a smelter integrated with the Hotazel mines.

According to the report, South32 holds the option to acquireAnglo's interest and it may pre-empt a deal with another company by securing fullownership.

South32 previously indicated its interest in buying Anglo's joint venture stake, if the pricewas right.

After a review of the South African manganese operations, South32decided to cut productionand drop 620 workers in its bid to substantially reduce cash costs, the companysaid in February.

Anglo recently agreed to sellits niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazil for a total US$1.5 billion to asubsidiary of China Molybdenum Co.Ltd.

Anglo is looking to secure US$4 billion by assets as part of its restructuringefforts, which will see its assets slashed by 60%.