Glencore bond issue clears way for £21bn London float

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The Independent Online

The secretive Swiss commodities trader Glencore issued $2.2bn (£1.4bn) of convertible bonds yesterday – the first time it has given any indication of how much it might be worth.

The move is significant because the company is widely expected to seek a flotation next year, possibly on the London Stock Exchange, that could see Glenmore valued at about £21bn. A flotation of that size would be one of the biggest in Europe for years and the company would comfortably find a place in the FTSE 100.

The group, founded by the billionaire financier Marc Rich, is one of the world's biggest suppliers and traders of raw materials and is led by chief executive Ivan Gasenberg. It is best known as the biggest investor in the FTSE 100-listed mining company Xstrata, in which it holds just over a third of the shares.

Glencore's bonds have been taken up by the private equity firms First Reserve and Blackrock, together with the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

Glencore sold Xstrata two coal mines in Colombia for $2bn earlier this year. However, it has the right to buy them back in March for $2.2bn plus whatever Xstrata has invested in them. Xstrata hit the headlines this year with its unsuccessful attempt to take over Anglo American.

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