Anglo American reaffirms that it is not obliged to sell any AA Sur shares to Codelco
Anglo American announces that it has received a letter from Codelco on 2 January 2012 which confirms its attempt to purchase up to the maximum amount of the shares in Anglo American Sur ("AAS") that it can acquire under the option agreement, which Codelco believes to be 49%. The letter states that to the extent such amount is disputed, Codelco intends to purchase such lower number of shares in respect of which there is no dispute.
As announced on 22 December 2011, Anglo American filed a legal complaint against Codelco for breach of contract seeking the termination of the option agreement and damages. This complaint was served on Codelco on 28 December 2011. In accordance with Chilean law, as a result of Codelco's breach of the contract, it is no longer entitled to enforce the option on Anglo American and, therefore, any attempt to exercise the option is ineffective.
The breach consists of Codelco's illegitimate premature attempt to exercise the option and Codelco's actions aimed at preventing Anglo American from exercising its contractual rights under the option agreement.
Anglo American's legal action against Codelco is the result of its duty to its shareholders to take all reasonable steps to protect its rights. Anglo American will continue to do so, and will prosecute vigorously its legal complaint against Codelco.
However, following Anglo American's announcement on 9 November 2011 of the sale of a 24.5% shareholding in AAS to Mitsubishi, Anglo American has stated consistently that it is open to working with Codelco to reach a commercial solution in respect of the option agreement that is in the long term interests of both companies’ shareholders.