Home » Led by South African executive Gary Nagle, Glencore sells Volcan stake for $20 million

Led by South African executive Gary Nagle, Glencore sells Volcan stake for $20 million

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Gary Nagle

Glencore Plc, the Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining giant led by South African executive Gary Nagle, has sold its controlling stake in Zinc Miner, Volcan Compañia Minera (Volcan), to Transition Metals AG, a subsidiary of Integra Capital. This aligns with Glencore’s strategy to streamline its portfolio and focus on key assets that align with its long-term goals.

Transaction details and strategic divestment

Transition Metals will pay Glencore $20 million for the Volcan stake, marking a strategic divestment for the global miner. Additionally, Glencore agreed to provide a secured facility of up to $40 million to support Transition Metals’ mandatory tender offer obligations under Peruvian regulations. The transaction is not subject to regulatory approvals.

Volcan’s refinancing efforts

The transaction, which is not subject to any regulatory approvals, comes as Volcan finalizes talks with creditors to refinance its debt, including postponing a $34.3 million portion of a $400-million syndicated loan due in April-June. This follows an agreement with several banks.

Glencore acquired a controlling stake in Volcan from previous family owners for $734 million seven years ago. Prior to the sale, friction between Glencore (with a 55-percent stake in Volcan’s voting rights) and other shareholders caused uncertainty, leading to new management in 2023.

Glencore: From trading giant to commodities powerhouse

Founded in the 1970s as a trading company, Glencore has evolved into a dominant force in the global commodities market. Boasting a diverse portfolio of over 60 commodities, Glencore ranks among the world’s largest mining groups by revenue. South African business leader Gary Nagle, who assumed the CEO position in 2021 from billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, has been instrumental in the group’s expansion.

Beyond his executive role, Nagle holds a 0.016-percent stake (roughly 2 million shares) in Glencore, valued at more than $10 million. This ownership underscores his significant influence beyond the boardroom and his contributions to Glencore’s continued success.

Aggressive acquisitions raise leverage concerns

Glencore’s recent acquisition spree has raised concerns about potential strain on its financial resources and leverage. This includes its recent interest in Anglo-American, following a previous attempt to acquire Shell’s Singaporean refinery and petrochemical complex just three months prior.

Glencore’s exit from Volcan serves as a cautionary tale for investors in the mining sector. Fluctuating commodity prices and operational challenges can significantly impact mining companies’ profitability. Volcan’s future remains uncertain.

While Integra Capital’s investment offers a lifeline, the company faces a significant challenge in regaining investor confidence and ensuring long-term sustainability.

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