Glencore hunt for chairman intensifies

GLENCORE, the world’s biggest commodities trader, is narrowing down its list of candidates to take over as chairman of the company after its flotation.

Simon Murray, chairman of Asia-Pacific investment firm GEMS and a director on the board of Essar Energy and Richemont, is one of the contenders, with former Lazard International chairman Ken Costa also mentioned as a potential candidate.

Glencore’s current chairman, Willy Strothotte, is leaving the post in part due to his dual-chairmanship of FTSE 100 miner Xstrata, of which Glencore owns 30 per cent.

Glencore’s $60m (£37m) float, which is said to be ready for launch this week, will list a portion of shares in London and a portion in Hong Kong. But the float process is likely to kick off earlier in London because it usually takes around four weeks in the UK, versus as little as ten days in Hong Kong.

Investors are looking for a solid float of Glencore to restore confidence after a tumultuous period that has seen many initial public offerings (IPO) pulled due to market volatility.

But those familiar with the deal say that Glencore’s float will not be indicative of wider market strength because of its size and the quality of the compay.

After issuing an “intention to float” document, expected this week, Glencore will enter a pre-marketing process of meeting with investors and will then publish a full prospectus with a suggested price range.