The clock is ticking on Anglo American CEO Duncan Wanblad’s radical restructuring plan. Having promised to simplify the 107-year-old group in as little as 18 months, he must do so amid a complexity not dissimilar to BHP’s proposed takeover (see box).

BHP’s bid was finally rebuffed on May 29, the day on which South Africans voted to end the ANC’s majority rule. BHP could yet return for Anglo at a later stage, along with new, rival bidders — especially if Wanblad fails to deliver. The most daunting part of his plan is the sale of De Beers. The unbundling of its platinum business, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), for value, is no walk in the park either, even with the possible London listing Wanblad suggested in recent days...

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