De Beers Group to return to historic UK headquarters

De Beers Group is set to return to its historic London base in Farringdon in the heart of London’s jewellery district in 2020, it emerged on Tuesday.


Photo: De Beers

It comes after its majority owner Anglo American struck a sale and leaseback deal with M&G Investments to redevelop the Charterhouse Estate offices, which were home to De Beers from the 1930s until last year.

At one time, the fortress-like building near Hatton Garden controlled the flow of around 90% of the world’s diamonds. Its subterranean vaults are estimated to have once held about £3.9 billion of uncut diamonds. 

The building has been vacant since March 2017, when De Beers staff relocated to Aglo’s offices near Trafalgar Square as part of a wider restructuring.

But Anglo American has now unveiled plans to invest £265 million to redevelop and lease the property, a move that could provide a boost to the jewellery district following a flurry of diamond business closures due to high rents.

De Beers Group is an international diamond company founded in 1888 by British businessman Cecil Rhodes. It is currently 85% owned by Anglo American, with the remaining 15% owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana.

The redevelopment is expected to complete in 2020, providing new offices for around 750 employees, including both Anglo American and De Beers staff.

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