Glencore, Xstrata Agree On Merger Terms

Published February 7, 2012 7:54AM (EST)

LONDON (AP) — The boards of mining company Xstrata and commodities dealer Glencore said Tuesday that they have agreed on terms for a merger.

The combined companies would have a market value of $90 billion, Glencore said in an announcement to the London stock exchange.

The announcement said Xstrata shareholders would receive 2.8 Glencore shares for each of their shares.

"The commodities value chain is becoming longer and more complex, creating opportunities for a company that can pre-emptively participate at every stage," said Xstrata Chief Executive Mick Davis, who will become CEO of the merged company.

"Glencore Xstrata would be well positioned to do just that, creating value from resource extraction to customer sales and services, at a time when demand for our combined products continues to grow," Davis said.

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg, who will take the titles of deputy CEO and president, said the merger represents "a fantastic opportunity to create a new powerhouse in the global commodities industry."

Glencore already holds 34 percent of the shares in Xstrata.

Xstrata, based in Zug, Switzerland, was formed in 2002 when it bought Glencore's coal assets. The company mines copper in the Americas, zinc in Spain and ferrochrome and vanadium in Australia and South Africa.

Glencore extracts, ships and refines raw materials from coal, to copper, to corn. It is based in the Swiss town of Baar but has its main listing in London.

Glencore was founded in 1974 by Marc Rich, the fugitive trader who was controversially pardoned in 2001 by then U.S. President Bill Clinton just hours before he left office. Rich sold the company to its employees in 1994, and the firm has been at pains to distance itself from its founder and any whiff of improper activity. Environmental groups, however, have since targeted the company for its mining interests.

By Salon Staff

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