Glencore gets EU nod as it ends zinc deal

GLENCORE won approval from EU antitrust regulators yesterday, as expected, marking another hurdle jumped for its £56bn mega-merger with miner Xstrata.

The European Commission cleared the deal – which has taken a tense 10 months of negotiations since Glencore first approached Xstrata in February – but said that the commodity trader must scrap its exclusive zinc sales agreement with producer Nyrstar.

The Nyrstar move will cut the enlarged company’s share of the European zinc market from roughly half to below 40 per cent, the threshold which triggers antitrust concerns.

Glencore must also sell its 7.8 per cent stake in Nyrstar, thought to be worth around €50m (£40m) at current prices, in order to proceed with its ambition of creating a mining and trading giant.

EU competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia said: “The proposed remedy ensures that competition in the European zinc metal market is preserved.”

Glencore still needs regulatory approval from China and final approval from South Africa.