Following the biggest mining merger in recent history, officials at the newly minted $73 billion Glencore Xstrata plc have ended the 15-month process by pledging across-the-board cuts, including sales of unwanted assets amid falling commodities prices. The deal has produced the world’s No. 4 mining company.
CEO Ivan Glasenberg told reporters that, while such large scale deals have had mixed success since 2000, “we can cut a lot of fat out of the system,” he said, citing $500 million in 2013 “synergies and reductions” that “can ensure this merger is a success.” Both companies are Swiss-based. Other “low-hanging fruit,” according to Glasenberg, includes $300 million in administration costs atop trading savings.
Still, Glencore faces the biggest challenge in its 40-year history by assimilating Xstrata, a $46 billion company amid a new commodities cycle. Equally difficult will be running Xstrata assets with just one of its top executives—reflecting the takeover’s top-heavy nature—as only two primary divisional positions will be filled by Xstrata managers.
Xstrata has significant nickel, zinc and coal assets, while copper alone accounted for 50% of profits. But the commodities giant Glencore dismissed possibilities of over-reaching in production and market share—especially given its number of joint venture operations.
“No asset will fall through the cracks,” said Glasenberg, adding that performance would be “well rewarded.”
Glencore will complete a review on Xstrata’s operations by Q3, with potential culmination in high-cost early-stage project sell-offs, said company officials; new project equity, meanwhile, has been slated at between 20% to 25%.