The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Anglo director admits loss on Sirius

- By Jamie Nimmo

A DIRECTOR of Anglo American, the FTSE 100 mining giant that swooped on embattled Sirius Minerals, is among nearly a hundred thousand shareholde­rs in the Yorkshire miner who are set to lose big sums on their investment­s.

In an embarrassi­ng admission, Anglo American was forced to reveal that Ian Ashby, a non-executive director, had lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in Sirius.

Sirius’s shares plunged this autumn when it failed to gain funding for its huge polyhalite fertiliser mine and production facility in North Yorkshire. Anglo American’s £400million takeover offer last month will secure the future of the Woodsmith mine in the North York moors. But it also means that Sirius’s 85,000 shareholde­rs – including Ashby, a former BHP Billiton executive who has spent as much as £700,000 on Sirius shares – will lose money. Details of his dealings in the past year were revealed in takeover documents posted to shareholde­rs on Friday.

They show that Ashby spent £250,000 buying 833,333 Sirius shares at 30p a share in April last year – far above Anglo American’s 5.5p-per-share offer.

Ashby bought 1.5million Sirius shares about three years ago at an undisclose­d price, taking his holding in April to 2.3 million shares worth more than £500,000 at the time.

But, the price started to dive at the end of April amid funding troubles, and Ashby went on to sell nearly 1.2 million shares in August and September for just £59,000.

He will receive only £64,000 for his remaining shares under the terms of Anglo American’s 5.5pper-share offer.

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