Glencore, Xstrata complete merger

Commodities trading house Glencore and mining group Xstrata have completed their long-awaited merger, creating one of the most powerful companies in the raw materials sector.

Glencore made the announcement early Thursday in a statement on its Web site, saying the new company would be named Glencore Xstrata plc.

The all-share tie-up will result in a company with combined revenues of roughly $220 billion annually, a market capitalization of some $86 billion and 130,000 employees worldwide.

The final two hurdles for the roughly $30 billion deal were cleared when Chinese authorities and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales gave the go-ahead for the merger on April 16 and April 30, respectively.

Previously, approval had been secured from anti-trust regulators in Australia, South Africa and the European Commission, which ruled that the merged company’s market share in European zinc metal had to be lower than 40 percent.

Glencore had first announced plans to acquire Xstrata in February 2012.

The merger of the Switzerland-based, UK-listed commodities groups also faced shareholder opposition to Glencore’s initial offer of 2.8 shares of Glencore for each share of Xstrata.

The Qatar Holding sovereign wealth fund, which owned a 12 percent stake in Xstrata, rejected the offer and, after lengthy negotiations, succeeded in forcing Glencore to increase it to 3.05 of its shares for each Xstrata share.

The new company will be similar in size to other leading mining groups such as Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale, and will dominate the commodities trading market.

Prior to the merger, Glencore was one of the world’s leading zinc producers and a major producer and marketer of copper, lead and nickel, as well as a major trader of oil, gas, coal and other commodities.

Its interests extended to agriculture, especially as a leading global supplier of grains, oleaginous crops, cotton and sugar.

At the time the deal was completed, Xstrata was the world’s leading exporter of thermal coal and the fourth-largest copper producer.

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