Glencore International Plc, the largest publicly traded commodities supplier, is considering a stock-market listing in South Africa to tap the country’s investor base, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Glencore is weighing the move partly because of the importance South African operations will have once it completes a $36 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore, run by South African-born billionaire Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg, may still opt not to go ahead with the listing, the person said. An official for Glencore declined to comment.
A listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange by Glencore would be a vote of confidence in a country where Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Lonmin Plc are among companies whose mines have been plagued by sometimes violent strikes. Another resources billionaire, Robert Friedland, said this week he’s considering a secondary Johannesburg listing for Ivanplats Ltd. a mining company he founded that trades in Toronto.
Glencore shares have traded in London and Hong Kong since it sold $10 billion of stock in an initial public offering in May 2011. Glasenberg 56, is due to complete the combination with Xstrata next month, with Chinese approval the final outstanding requirement.
Glencore announced the all-stock Xstrata acquisition in February 2012, raising its bid in September before winning shareholder approval. The takeover will create the world’s fourth-largest mining company, combining Glencore’s global trading operations in metals, energy and agricultural products with Xstrata’s coal, copper and zinc mines.
Glencore and Xstrata last month extended their deadline to complete the tie-up to mid-March, to allow for the completion of regulatory reviews in South Africa and China.
South Africa’s antitrust regulator subsequently announced it had cleared the deal, while China is expected to approve the transaction, according to two Beijing-based government officials with knowledge of the matter.
Xstrata, based in Zug, Switzerland, owns coal, chrome and platinum mines in South Africa. Its projects include the Goedgevonden thermal-coal complex in the Mpumalanga province, the Helena underground chrome mine on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, the Wonderkop ferrochrome plant in the North West Province and the Eland platinum mine near Pretoria.
Ivanplats is studying a stock-exchange listing in Johannesburg as it advances plans for a new platinum mine in South Africa.
“We have come here as foreign investors and now we are thinking of listing in Johannesburg,” Friedland, chairman of the company, said at a conference in Cape Town. “Our old idea was to rush straight to the London stock exchange but having been here with our investors we think perhaps starting with a listing here as a second listing, may be more appropriate.”
Friedland’s Ivanplats last year sold C$300.8 million ($301 million) of stock in Canada’s biggest mining initial public offering since 2010.
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