Glencore tightens its grip on Lonmin

 

Coal miner-to-wheat trading giant Glencore Xstrata today moved to take greater control of Lonmin, as the beleaguered platinum group continues to struggle with trade unions in South Africa.

Two Glencore Xstrata executives — Gary Nagle, the boss of its alloys division, and Paul Smith, head of strategy and communications — were today appointed non-executive directors at Lonmin.

Glencore Xstrata owns almost a quarter of Lonmin, and investors have been keen to find out what chief executive Ivan Glasenberg plans to do with that stake. There has been talk he will eventually sell up, having inherited the shareholding after adding Xstrata to his Glencore empire in May in a $29 billion (£18 billion) deal.

Glasenberg is bringing the Glencore Xstrata management team to London this week to talk to investors about its progress  after it last month revealed a $7.7 billion hit on the value of Xstrata’s assets.

Lonmin, which has suffered from union problems for more than a year, will have showdown talks with Solidarity in November, as it does not recognise the union.

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