Optimum Coal confirms unit of Glencore has bought stake

City A.M. Reporter
SOUTH Africa’s Optimum Coal said yesterday that a unit of Glencore, the world’s largest commodity trader, had bought a 14.1 per cent stake in it.

The announcement comes after Optimum, South Africa’s sixth-largest coal producer, confirmed last Friday that it had received takeover approaches.

“A consortium comprising Piruto BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore International, had as at the close of business on Friday, 26 August 2011, acquired ordinary shares and as a result now holds a beneficial interest of 14.1 per cent in Optimum Coal,” Optimum said in a statement.

Optimum’s share price was up 1.3 per cent at 31.91 rand, extending its Friday gains of around five per cent.

It is the Swiss-based trader’s largest takeover bid since its May stock market listing.

Glencore’s deep pockets and Ramaphosa’s influence would make for a formidable bid that could nullify any opposition from unions or shareholders, some of whom may be reluctant to see the trader extend its reach in South Africa.