The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

South Africa: Death of a showpiece deal

Days before South African president Nelson Mandela lambasted "apartheid patterns of ownership" in a five hour speech to December's ANC congress, the final nails went into the coffin of South Africa's showpiece black empowerment deal.

The sale of Anglo-American's controlling interest in the mining group, JCI, was meant to mark a decisive transfer of prime assets from white control to black.

In the event, the saga of JCI's sale has ended with Anglo reacquiring the prize gold mining assets it sold in November 1996 while a rudderless JCI is seeking terms in a tie-up with UK-based Lonrho, once itself described as the "unacceptable face of capitalism".

So how did the deal turn full circle?

The charitable explanation is to blame the gold price, which fell to its lowest level in 18 years ­ $281.15 an ounce by December 10 - a drop of more than $100 from its level at the point when JCI was sold a year earlier.

Under that pressure, JCI's share price has wilted from R54.50 at the time of the sale to a range of R18-20 early in December.

But the roots of the problem go back further, to the time of Anglo-American's initial announcement, in March 1994, of its intention to sell two parts of the orginal JCI to black empowerment groups.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree