Glencore tie-up date extended on China delay

MINING giant Glencore yesterday extended the completion date for its £59bn merger with Xstrata as it waits for the final green light from Chinese regulators.

Trading powerhouse Glencore, which has pushed back the merger date several times, said that yesterday it was in “constructive discussions” with China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom), and the discussions were in their final stages.

Despite the discussions, Glencore said yesterday that it does not expect the merger to be completed before the expected date of 16 April, and so the completion date has been pushed back for the fifth time and set for 2 May.

Last month, Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg brushed off concerns over the delay, adding that as a big importer of commodities China wanted to look carefully at the tie-up. It is thought that Mofcom is focusing its attention on copper.

A combined Glencore and Xstrata is set to be one of the world’s largest commodities company and a massive producer of the red base metal.

Glencore has already received conditional approval from European and South African regulators for the merger, but the deal can only go ahead when it receives the green light from Chinese authorities.

After 10 months of fraught negotiations, commodity giants Glencore and Xstrata finally brought their mining mega-merger to fruition in November last year, as Xstrata investors backed the deal.

It cleared European anti-trust regulators in the same month, but has been waiting for approval from China – a big consumer of the commodities it produces – for some time.