Mining firm Anglo American hands UK account back to Brunswick

Mining giant Anglo American has moved its retained UK financial PR account out of FD and back into Brunswick - after a break of two years.

Mining focus: Anglo American
Mining focus: Anglo American

The appointment comes at a crucial time for the FTSE 100 company, as it looks to rebuild its investor reputation after holding off a takeover approach from rival Xstrata.

Anglo American had a long-standing relationship with Brunswick in the UK before it moved its financial media relations account to FD in December 2007. This followed a perceived conflict of interest because the agency was advising BHP Billiton over its £61bn bid for Rio Tinto.

Brunswick continued to work for Anglo in South Africa, but began to assume a more senior role in its UK bid defence against Xstrata this year.

Commenting on the latest appointment, James Wyatt-Tilby, head of media at Anglo American, said: 'This is certainly not a reflection on the outstanding job FD did over the past two years, but this move enables us to bring our financial PR adviser for the UK and for South Africa back under one roof.'

Brunswick declined to comment on the appointment.

UK takeover rules mean Xstrata cannot bid for Anglo again for another six months, giving the firm breathing space to win over investors to the benefits of its ongoing independence. CEO Cynthia Carroll has been under increased pressure to create value for investors disgruntled by the group's underperformance.

Wyatt-Tilby said: 'From the investment community's perspective, this period is about delivery and that is what we are focused on, irrespective of any corporate interest in Anglo. We are getting on with the execution of our strategy and delivering on the promises we have set out.'

Anglo recently announced it would cut more than 2,700 jobs and sell off $10bn of non-core assets as it refocuses on its core mining business.

MINING NEWS

9 November: Anglo hires Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of RBS, to its board

22 October: Anglo pledges to cut 2,700 jobs and sell off $10bn of non-core assets

15 October: Xstrata walks away from the takeover bid

31 July: Anglo loses 15,000 jobs as profits fall 69 per cent

23 June: Anglo rejects Xstrata's initial £40bn bid.

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