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Anglo CEO meets S.Africa mines minister after BHP’s takeover proposal

ANGLO American CEO Duncan Wanblad is meeting South African mines minister Gwede Mantashe for the first time since the miner rejected BHP Group’s $39 billion takeover bid, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

BHP, the world’s biggest-listed mining group, is privately talking to investors as it weighs up its next move after Anglo’s rejection of its initial proposal.

Commodities giant Glencore is also studying an approach for Anglo, sources told Reuters, a development that could spark a bidding war for the 107-year-old mining company.

Anglo declined to comment on the meeting with Mantashe.

The source did not give details of the meeting.

BHP has proposed that Anglo sell its shares in units Anglo Platinum (Amplats) and Kumba Iron Ore as an option to exit the South African assets it does not want to be included in the deal.

Anglo unanimously rejected the proposal as opportunistic and significantly undervaluing the company and its future prospects.

Its investors are concerned that they stand to lose heavily by holding shares in the South African subsidiaries if they are un-bundled.

There is a risk that South African regulatory authorities, particularly its central bank, could be concerned about capital outflows from foreign investors not willing to hold the shares, the source said.

BHP CEO Mike Henry, who is in South Africa to canvass views from investors on the company’s proposed offer to Anglo, was in “listening only mode” during a meeting with a Cape Town-based fund manager on Friday, another source told Reuters.

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BHP executives also held a call with South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation earlier in the week, a separate source said.

Anglo has said it will meet its top investors to hear their views on BHP’s approach.