Glencore’s Long March to Take Over Xstrata

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At long last, Glencore has overcome the final regulatory hurdle and secured the approval of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to acquire the 66 percent of Xstrata that it does not already own. But not before agreeing to part with one of the prized assets in Xstrata’s portfolio, the Las Bambas copper project in Peru.

If no suitable buyer for Las Bambas is found by September 2014, Glencore will have to auction off one of its other copper assets of MOFCOM’s choosing. To clinch MOFCOM’s blessing of the deal Glencore also committed to continue offering longterm supply arrangements to sell copper concentrate to Chinese customers, as well as somewhat less stringent supply commitments on zinc and lead concentrates.

It has been a long road for Glencore and Xstrata who announced their plan to combine in February last year. They have had to navigate the merger review processes in several major jurisdictions, which can frustrate the most patient of company executives. Glencore’s acquisition of Xstrata will unite one of the world’s largest producers and traders of commodities and one of the largest mining companies globally – but at what price? It was no surprise that competition authorities in those countries and regions most affected would closely scrutinize the deal.

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