GLENCORE yesterday played down suggestions it would launch a takeover bid for Kazakh miner ENRC, but sources close to the firm would not rule out making an offer in the future.
Top executives at ENRC, which last week sacked two of its directors and saw two more stand down in a row over corporate governance, are understood to have met with Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg in recent weeks to discuss selling their 45 per cent stake.
A Glencore source claimed that any imminent deal would have had to be disclosed in the prospectus for the firm’s recent £6.7bn London float. But he did not rule out a bid in the longer term.
“Our business model is that we trade, and that we are talking to everyone all the time,” he said.
Some commodities analysts were surprised at the lack of acquisition talk in Glencore’s IPO documents, expecting to see details of the firm’s long-mooted takeover of Xstrata, in which it already holds a 34.5 per cent stake.
A spokesperson for Glencore said the company could not comment on speculation, while ENRC was unavailable for comment.
Takeover talk swirled around ENRC after Sir Richard Sykes, who was ousted as the firm’s deputy chairman last week, said that listing the Kazakh mining group “was a mistake” given how unprepared the firm was for UK corporate governance rules.