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Glencore acquires controlling stake in Optimum Coal
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27th March 2012
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JOHANNESBURG ( – Commodities trader Glencore International said on Tuesday it had acquired a further 36.56% interest in Optimum Coal, following unconditional approval by the South African competition authorities.

The consortium now holds directly and indirectly, together with its black economic-empowerment partner Cyril Ramaphosa, 67.77% of the issued share capital of Optimum Coal.

As the consortium is now in a position to exercise at least 35% of the voting rights attached to the ordinary shares of Optimum Coal, it is required, in terms of the South African Companies Act to make a mandatory offer to acquire the shares of all shareholders of Optimum Coal not already owned or controlled by the consortium.

The consortium will offer the remaining Optimum Coal shareholders R38 a share in cash.

“Optimum will add to our coal presence in South Africa and will be complimentary to our Shanduka Coal joint venture and our investment in Umcebo,” Glencore director of the coal/coke commodity department Tor Peterson said.

Optimum is South Africa’s sixth-largest coal producer and fourth-largest exporter of the commodity. It owns two operating mining complexes, both located in the Mpumalanga province.

“South Africa is an important producer to supply the growing Chinese and Indian markets, so we are delighted to add to our business in the country, with Ramaphosa as our partner,” Peterson added.

Glencore is also currently undertaking a $36-billion takeover of miner Xstrata, as well as Canada's largest grain handler Viterra in a cash deal valued at C$6.1-billion.

Meanwhile, Optimum appointed Ramaphosa as nonexecutive director and chairperson of the board, succeeding Bobby Godsell, who resigned on Monday.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb


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Cyril Ramaphosa
Picture by: Duane Daws
Cyril Ramaphosa