UPDATE 2-Anglo American agrees $1.5 bln sale of Brazilian niobium, phosphates units
* Sale price exceeds market expectations
* Deal is subject to approvals, expected to be sealed by year-end
* Share price climbs 3 percent then pares gains (Adds comments, share price, context)
By Barbara Lewis
LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - Anglo American has agreed to sell its niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazil to China Molybdenum for $1.5 billion in cash, it said on Thursday, as it seeks to cut debt in a radical restructuring of the global mining group.
Anglo American shares rose more than 3 percent in early trade as analysts said the price was higher than expected and boded well for further deals.
"The proceeds from this transaction ... will enable us to continue to reduce our net debt towards our targeted level of less than $10 billion at the end of 2016," said Anglo's chief executive, Mark Cutifani.
The niobium and phosphates businesses consist of mines, plants, processing facilities, chemical complexes and deposits, with niobium a key ingredient of specialist high-strength steels while phosphate production serves Brazil's domestic market for fertilisers.
Analysts said the sale was around $500 million above expectations following reports of interest from other firms, including Apollo Global Management LLC and Vale. Continuación...