Trading giant Glencore buys Xstrata, still expanding

News & Insights
May 2, 2013
Glencore, the world’s largest commodities trading firm, has purchased the mining company Xstrata (which built its portfolio upon assets originally purchased from Glencore) after lengthy negotiations. According to Reuters, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg is seen to be pursuing a remarkably aggressive campaign of expansion despite the global economic climate.

“Glencore wants to buy when no one else wants to buy, and what no one else wants to buy – that is when no one else is bidding and you can buy things cheap. That time is clearly now.”

Xstrata began just over a decade ago with a collection of zinc and ferroalloy assets and coal mines bought from Glencore, building itself up under now departing chief executive Mick Davis into one of the world’s largest diversified miners.

The combination of commodities trader Glencore and producer Xstrata, long Glasenberg’s ambition, creates a mining and trading powerhouse with over 100 mines around the world, some 130,000 employees, and an oil division with more ships than Britain’s Royal Navy.

It will be the largest exporter of thermal coal and the third-largest producer of mined copper.