Thought you might find this interesting
Ernest Oppenheimer, by controlling Anglo American, which he set up in 1917, wanted to be chairman of De Beers as early as 1919 (which he eventually achieved in 1929) One way of achieving this goal was to buy out all the companies in the Sperrgebiet at that time (including Stauch's company), and to form a new company called Consolidated Diamoned Mines of South West Africa Ltd (CDM) in 1920. We must remember that De Beers was not part of the Anglo group at that time and didnt seem too interested in getting a hold on the diamond riches in South Wes. It was run by one Cecil John Rhodes and apparently he and Ernst didnt see eye to eye.
Ernest Oppenheimer became chairman of CDM in 1929. He also became chairman of De Beers in 1929 and promply got rid of Rhodes. De Beers then purchased CDM from Anglo, so now De Beers controlled all the diamond mines in SA and SWA. See where this is going?
This set the scene for De Beers to control the diamond industry in SWA and SA - and possibly most of the free world. This would continue for a long time - until now. In November 2011, Nicky Oppenheimer sold the family's 40% stake of De Beers to Anglo American for lots and lots of shekels. So now Anglo American own 85% on De Beers! How's that for a turn-around? How the wheel turns.
So the Oppenheimers have gone from controlling the diamond industry for 90 years, to none at all. It's an end of era, as one of the newspapers said.
However the Oppenheimers still have a 2% share in Anglo. Seems like they are still hedging their bets.